EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this story was originally posted, the PIAA changed the starting times of Thursday’s softball games to try to avoid thunderstorms forecast for later in the day.
Even in the distinguished group of teams to make Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association championships at Penn State University, the Pittston Area and Tunkhannock softball teams stand out.
Pittston Area is one of just three unbeaten teams – two in softball, one in baseball – headed to State College for the final high school competition of the 2021-22 academic year in Pennsylvania.
Tunkhannock is the only team to make it there on consecutive 10-run rule victories in the quarterfinals and semifinals. By outscoring state tournament opponents, 25-1, Tunkhannock has allowed the fewest playoff runs of any of the 24 teams playing at Penn State.
The Lady Patriots are scheduled to take on District 7 champion Armstrong Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at Beard Field in the Class 5A final that is the first ever by a Pittston Area team in any sport. The PIAA announced early Wednesday afternoon that it was moving up the starting times for softball in order to try to avoid weather issues later in the day. Class 5A had originally been scheduled to play at 4.
The Lady Tigers are making their second straight trip in Class 4A. They play Friday at 1:30 p.m. against District 9 champion Clearfield in Class 4A.
The field for the title games includes Selinsgrove, which won a District 2-4 Class 5A Subregional title in baseball.
The Seals beat District 2’s top team, North Pocono, 3-2, in the subregional final for the first of the four straight one-run victories they used to make the state final. No other team had to navigate as many close calls along the way.
Bethlehem Liberty used a 4-2 semifinal win over Hazleton Area to reach the state Class 6A baseball final.
Halifax followed up a 3-1 win over MMI Prep in the quarterfinals with two more victories to reach the Class A baseball final.
There are three championship games each scheduled Thursday and again Friday. Thursday’s forecast for the State College area includes threatening weather that has the potential to disrupt at least part of the schedule.
As of 1:40 p.m. Wednesday, the PIAA had not announced any changes to its baseball schedule for Thursday.
The full schedule of state finals, with district and place finish, then record in parentheses.
(at Beard Field)
Class A – 4-1, Montgomery (21-4) vs. 9-1, DuBois Central Catholic (22-3), 10:30 a.m.
Class 3A – 4-1, Lewisburg (19-3) vs. 7-1, Avonworth (20-5), 12:30 p.m.
Class 5A – 2-1, Pittston Area (24-0) vs. 7-1, Armstrong (23-4), 2:30 p.m.
Class 2A – 12-1, Conwell-Egan (16-5) vs. 7-1, Neshannock (25-0), 11 a.m.
Class 4A – 2-1, Tunkhannock (20-6) vs. 9-1, Clearfield (21-3), 1:30 p.m.
Class 6A – 1-4, Spring-Ford (23-2) vs. 7-1, Seneca Valley (16-6), 4 p.m.
(at Medlar Field at Lugano Park)
Class 2A – 5-1, Everett (20-2) vs. 7-2, Neshannock (20-7), 10:30 a.m.
Class 4A – 1-1, Holy Ghost Prep (18-5) vs. 7-2, Montour (20-6), 1:30 p.m.
Class 6A – 11-1, Bethlehem Liberty (26-2) vs. 3-1, Warwick (22-2), 4:30 p.m.
Class A – 3-1, Halifax (18-6) vs. 9-1, DuBois Central Catholic (21-4), 10:30 a.m.
Class 3A – 3-1, Lancaster Catholic (23-2) vs. 6-1, Martinsburg Central (26-0), 1:30 p.m.
Class 5A – 4-1, Selinsgrove (23-2) vs. 7-3, Bethel Park (20-3), 4:30 p.m.