Previewing the PIAA softball and baseball playoff quarterfinals

Below is a capsule look at the three PIAA softball and baseball quarterfinal playoff games on Thursday involving teams from the Beaver County Times’ coverage area.

SOFTBALL

Class 4A

Beaver Area defeated Fleetwood in a first-round PIAA Class 4A playoff game on Monday.

Beaver Area (20-0) vs. Burrell (14-2)

Details: 3 pm Thursday at Mars Area High School

Scouting Beaver Area: After dominating Elizabeth Forward in a 6-0 victory last week to secure a second consecutive WPIAL title, Beaver Area looked untouchable. That was until the Bobcats’ 3-2 win against Fleetwood Area in the first round of the PIAA playoffs on Monday was a lot closer than they would’ve liked it to be. Head coach Amy Haggart called it a “championship hangover.” However they frame it, though, the Bobcats know that they’ll need to play better in order to achieve their lofty goal of becoming back-to-back PIAA champions. Star senior pitcher Payton List, who has posted a 12-0 record and tallied 255 strikeouts in 128.1 innings on the season, finished with 11 strikeouts and just four hits versus the Tigers. Senior shortstop Hanna Crowe had an RBI and a run in the contest. Going up against a Burrell squad that is coming off of a 6-0 win over District 10 champion Villa Maria Academy will prove to be more of a challenge. Beaver Area will need its supporting cast to elevate its game if it hopes to punch its ticket to the PIAA semifinals.

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