By Matt Popchock

The rain goes on, to say nothing of the substandard temps, but the beat goes on for high school baseball and softball in western Pennsylvania.  There were a couple of significant upsets that went hand-in-glove–no pun intended with masterful pitching performances last week, and it’s way past time to acknowledge them.

Due to circumstances somewhat beyond Mr. High School Sports’ control, he didn’t get around to breaking down the biggest highlights from the past week until teams had already started working vainly to get their fields ready for the new week and squeeze in as many games as possible.

A couple of Quad-A baseball teams earned big victories thanks to some great individual efforts, and two of WPIAL softball’s strikeout queens kept their totals climbing.  So, better late than never, here are some of the top scholastic stars from last week’s rain-abbreviated action:

John Arnold, Hampton – nine strikeouts, four hits allowed in seven innings in 1-0 upset over Mars in Class AAA Section 4 play last Wednesday

Evan Gourley, Vincentian Academy – game-winning two-run single in top of 7th in 4-3 upset over Avonworth in Class A Section 4 play last Wednesday (Royals trailed 3-0 through 6th)

Matt Garbin, Upper St. Clair – home run, four RBI in 15-4 win over Canon-McMillan (six innings) in Class AAAA Section 3 play last Wednesday

Kyle Imbrescia, Monessen – 3-for-3, three RBI in 8-4 upset over Chartiers-Houston in Class A Section 2 play last Thursday

Zac LaNeve, Pine-Richland – six strikeouts in seven innings in 6-2 win over Butler in Class AAAA Section 1 play last Thursday

Regis Sauer, Brashear – nine strikeouts; two home runs, five RBI in 9-4 City League upset over Allderdice last Thursday

Justine Falbo, Hempfield – 3-for-3, three-run home run, five RBI in 9-2 win over Latrobe in Class AAAA Section 1 play last Wednesday

Meghan Buletko, Seneca Valley – 4-for-5, three RBI in 15-12 win over North Hills in Class AAAA Section 3 play last Wednesday

Lauren Hackett, Shaler – 4-for-4, home run in 6-1 win over North Allegheny in Class AAAA Section 3 play last Thursday

Nicole Sleith, Yough – third no-hitter this season (15 K, 1 BB), two RBI in 3-0 win over Indiana in Class AAA Section 4 play last Thursday

Kiersten Manor, New Brighton – 15 strikeouts in 5-2 win over Riverside in Class AA Section 5 play last Thursday (led WPIAL in K’s entering this week)

Caitlin Nealer, Valley – 11 strikeouts, one hit allowed; 3-for-4, RBI in 8-0 win over Highlands in Class AAA Section 5 play last Thursday


For continuing coverage of WPIAL baseball and softball leading up to the 2011 WPIAL Baseball and Softball Playoffs, be sure to check back with Mr. High School Sports this week and next week!

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