H.S. Softball: Pittston Area, Wyoming Area open District 2 Class 3A playoffs on Monday, May 23

By Nick Wagner - nwagner@timesleader.com | May 20th, 2016 2:31 pm

It all comes down to this.

Neither Pittston Area or Wyoming Area softball teams could cash in on a Wyoming Valley Conference championships. Now, their sights are set on the district playoffs.

The Patriots (9-6) had their best seasons since 2005, the last time the team was over .500. Because of that, the Patriots earned the sixth seed in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association District 2 Class 3A championships, which start on Monday, May 23. The team will host the 11-seed West Scranton at 4:30 p.m. on Monday.

A win would five the Patriots a game against three-seed North Pocono or 14-seed Honesdale.

The Warriors weren’t able to repeat as WVC Division 2 champions this season. Instead, an 8-6 finish in league play gives Wyoming Area the seventh seed and a date with 10-seed Crestwood at 3 p.m. on Monday at home.

Abington Heights was named the top seed in District 2.

This past week, Wyoming Area took Nanticoke to the brink, while Pittston Area’s Taylor Baloga was up to her old tricks. Here’s how the teams fared this week:

Hazleton Area 3, Pittston Area 1

Pittston Area’s Lexi Felinski had the only multi-hit game on Thursday against the Cougars. Taylor Baloga took the loss, giving up two earned runs and walking just one. Nina Cencetti scored the Patriots’ lone run.

Nanticoke 3, Wyoming Area 2

On Wednesday, Wyoming Area’s Bree Bednarski provided the Warriors’ only runs with a two-run home run in the second inning. Jenna Lipowski drove in all three Nanticoke runs, breaking a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth when Brinley Sobeck scored on a fielder’s choice.

Lipowski hit a two-run homer in the first before Bednarski answered.

Pittston Area 13, Crestwood 0

Taylor Baloga pitched a no-hitter for the Patriots, her second in two weeks, and ended the game in the sixth inning via the 10-run rule on Wednesday.

Baloga struck out nine and walked just two. She had a perfect game against Coughlin last Thursday. Nina Cencetti finished 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and five RBI. Julie Silinskie also added three hits for Pittston Area.

Valley West 8, Pittston Area 4

Pittston Area scored four runs in the fifth inning but it wasn’t enough against the Spartans on Monday.

Mindina Lieback, Alexa McHugh and Taylor Baloga each drove in runs in the fifth inning. Lieback and Baloga each finished with two hits. Baloga took the loss in the circle.


By Nick Wagner


Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick