Thursday, May 8, 2014

McGuffey softball has potential for lengthy run in Class AA playoffs

Success in the softball WPIAL postseason usually hinges on two things: strong pitching and defense. Using that recipe, McGuffey could be poised for a lengthy run in the Class AA postseason.

The Highlanders will face Charleroi Tuesday at California (4 p.m.) and if they can get past the Cougars, it is very easy to see McGuffey taking down the winner of Deer Lakes and OLSH. Having one of the best pitchers in the WPIAL always helps.

Senior Cassie Weiss has dominated this season as one of the WPIAL’s leaders in strikeouts and earned run average. Her opponents dread see the hard-throwing righty take the circle for the Highlanders, but they better get used to it.

Charleroi is no slouch either. The Cougars have been one of the more consistent teams in Class AA this season, but questions surround the competition they faced during their run at a Section 1-AA title. Steel Valley and South Allegheny do not compare to the talent Charleroi will see when it faces McGuffey.

The Highlanders have not always been consistent at the plate, but with players like Marlie Mounts, Cassie and Sammie Weiss, Rachel Kleinhans and Meghan Schultz; McGuffey has the ability to put more than 10 runs on the board at any time.

And with Weiss on the mound, they only need a few runs to win games. The Highlanders benefited from playing the likes of Waynesburg and Chartiers-Houston in their section. The Raiders won the section after a season-split with McGuffey and the Bucs, who are usually the top team in Class AA, split with the Highlanders and took third place.

Both of those opponents possess incredible offensive talent and the section could see three teams make it to the second round.  According to McGuffey head coach Bill Loar, the Highlander scheduled a perfect scrimmage to prepare for Charleroi.

McGuffey will scrimmage Canon-McMillan Saturday at 10 a.m. Facing the best in Class AAAA can only help.

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