Belle Vernon was one out away from returning to the WPIAL softball title game for the first time since 2008.
Instead, Mallory Gerst and Tori Roman ensured that Montour will play for the championship for the second time in the past three years. Gerst hit a tying two-run homer with two outs in the seventh and Roman's double scored Emily Diecks in the eighth to give Montour a 3-2 win against No. 3 Belle Vernon (17-6) in a Class AAA semifinal Wednesday at California University.
Kaitlyn Kutchman pitched a six-hitter with nine strikeouts for the No. 2 Spartans (16-5).
WPIAL title games in all four classifications are scheduled May 31 at California University.
• Elizabeth Forward 2, Greensburg Salem 1: Virgina Roche's single to left in the bottom of the seventh scored Katie Shinavski and McKenna Kern for the tying and winning runs in a thrilling win for the No. 9 Warriors (17-6) at California University. The one-out hit was the only one allowed by No. 4 Greensburg Salem (15-3) starter Jayne Oberdorf, who walked two and hit a batter in the seventh.
• Hempfield 4, Peters Township 0: Karilynn Null pitched a 6-hitter and had an RBI and a run as No. 2 Hempfield (18-4) beat the No. 3 Indians (15-5) at California University. Maddie Knizer had two hits, an RBI and a run.
• Deer Lakes 2, Neshannock 0: Hannah Blinn improved to 10 for 10 in the playoffs with a first-inning double, giving the No. 4 Lancers (18-1) a lead they never relinquished at North Allegheny. Blinn doubled again and C.C. Sarver doubled in a run as Deer Lakes reached its first championship game. No. 1 Neshannock (19-1) only got two runners to third against Haliey Moretti.
• Greensburg Central Catholic 6, Riverside 3: At North Allegheny, Alie Perz and Leah Daigle each had two-out, two-run hits as the No. 7 Centurions (14-6) reached the final for the second year in a row. Kirsten Wilson and Brooke Barker each went 3 for 4 for No. 6 Riverside (17-2).
• Carmichaels 6, Sto-Rox 5 (9 innings): Morgan Berardi's single scored Caroline Cree with the winning run as the No. 3 Mikes (22-1) rallied from a five-run deficit for a win at Fairhaven Park. Led by a Josie Buckley second-inning grand slam, the No. 2 Vikings (19-1) had built a 5-0 lead in the fourth.
• Chartiers-Houston 3, Vincentian 1: At Fairhaven Park, Colby Miller collected two of her three RBIs with a fifth-inning single as the No. 1 seed Bucs (22-1) reached the title game for the third season in a row. Chartiers-Houston's Kayla Briggs had two hits, scored two runs and pitched a two-hitter. Katie Yauch had two doubles -- the lone hits for the No. 5 Royals (13-10).
First Published May 24, 2012 12:00 AM