CURWENSVILLE – The Curwensville High School baseball and softball teams, both Class A runners-up in District 9, will be heading in different directions for first-round games in the PIAA Playoffs on Monday, according to athletic director Allen Leigey.
Coach Leigey\’s defending state champion Lady Tide (20-2) will travel to Erie to meet District 10 champion Cambridge Springs (19-3) at noon on the Penn State-Behrend softball field.
Meanwhile, coach Ryan Briskar\’s Golden Tide (16-7) will go to Indiana to take on District 6 champion Homer-Center (11-6) at 4 p.m. on the White Township Park diamond.
If the Curwensville softball team is to repeat as PIAA Class A champion, it may have to beat the same four teams as last year, when it ended the season for Leechburg 1-0, Vincentian Academy 7-1 and Cambridge Springs 4-0 and Upper Dauphin 7-3.
Pitcher Holly Lansberry gave up only 10 hits in those wins, highlighted by a no-hitter against Leechburg and a one-hitter against Cambridge Springs.
Cambridge Springs (19-3) won the District 10 crown for the second year in a row with a 9-2 victory over Union City Monday, while Vincentian (20-2) nipped Leechburg (15-4) 3-2 in 11 innings Thursday for the District 7 (WPIAL) title.
If the Lady Tide gets past Cambridge Springs in a rematch of the 2007 Western Final, it will draw the Vincentian-Fannett Metal winner. Fannett-Metal (12-10) lost 1-0 to Northern Bedford (16-6) in the District 5 finals Thursday.
Leechburg is in the bottom half of the West bracket and plays District 6 champ Bishop Guilfoyle (17-4). A win would pit the Lady Blue Devils against District 9 champ Smethport (20-1) or Avonworth (13-9), which finished third in District 7.
Upper Dauphin (19-2), which shut out Halifax 7-0 Wednesday for its fifth consecutive District 3 championship, and Northern Bedford return to the East bracket along with District 1 champ Bristol (19-2).
Northern Bedford meets District 6 runner-up West Branch (15-5) at 4:30 p.m. Monday on the Everett High School Field.
Curwensville will see a familiar face in the pitching circle for Cambridge Springs.
Stephanie Baer lost the duel with Lansberry a year ago, giving up six hits and three earned runs. She had three strikeouts and no walks.
The Spa\’s ace has racked up 237 strikeouts this season and fanned nine in the district final. Both Union City runs were unearned.
Senior shortstop Kristen Humes did most of the damage at the plate with a single, a triple and five runs batted in, while catcher Elizabeth Dine scored four runs.
Baer, who pitched a two-hitter and drove in three runs in the Spa\’s 8-0 win over Kennedy Catholic in the D-10 semifinal, leads the team in slugging with seven doubles and six triples as well as RBIs with 22.
The Curwensville baseball team will be facing an opponent that started the season 4-5 under first-year coach Scott Bauer.
Since then, Homer-Center has won seven of eight games, including a wild 15-9 District 6 final against Juniata Valley.
The fourth-seeded Wildcats built up a 11-0 lead and were on pace for a Mercy Rule win with a 12-2 lead going to the bottom of the fifth. However, a two-out foul pop that wasn\’t caught gave Juniata Valley new life, and Zack Boyd then hit a three-run homer for the Green Hornets.
Juniata Valley cut the margin to 12-9 in the lower sixth against Jim Kinter before the Wildcats added three more runs in the seventh.
They finished with 15 hits. Ryan Bernat and Evan Bencic had three apiece and scored a combined seven runs, while Kinter had a triple and two singles.
The big gun, though, was pitcher Garrett Sisak, who homered and singled and drove in six runs.
In his five innings on the mound, Sisak gave up six hits and five earned runs. He struck out six and walked two.
Sisak is 2-0 in the playoffs and 7-1 for the season.
Homer-Center outlasted Bishop Guilfoyle 10-7 and knocked off No. 1 seed Portage 9-1 to en route to its first D-6 title since 2005.
If the Golden Tide wins, it will meet the winner of the Carmichaels-Keystone game.
Carmichaels (20-1) is the District 7 champion. Keystone (11-7) was beaten 3-0 by the Golden Tide in the District 9 semifinals but rebounded to eliminate Kane 19-6 in the consolation game.
The first-round games in the bottom bracket pit District 9 champ Cameron County (17-2) against District 7 third place Serra Catholic (21-2) and District 10 champ Villa Maria (17-3-1) against District 7 runner-up Rochester (18-5).