Pine-Richland teams turn in the playoff seasons in 4 spring sports

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Sunday, May 15, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Four Pine-Richland spring sports teams earned spots in the WPIAL playoffs.

The Rams baseball, softball, boys and girls lacrosse teams all qualified for the postseason. Here is a look at how they got there.

Baseball

The Rams split the Section 1-6A title with North Allegheny a season after a rare playoff miss.

Andy Swartout and Jacob McGuire have anchored the pitching staff. Seven of the Rams’ 10 wins were by two runs or less.

Senior Tyler Armstrong, freshman Anthony Mengine, junior Owen Henne and sophomore Tommy Zimmerman have paced the lineup. The Rams have also been very defensively, including sophomore right fielder Peyton Ford, who made a running catch and doubled off a runner at first base in a 1-0 win over North Allegheny.

After the play ended, the Rams won a pair of playoff tune-ups against North Catholic and Penn-Trafford and lost to Baldwin.

Softball

Pine-Richland was the runner up in Section 2-6A behind Hempfield and will look to make a deep run after winning a playoff game for the first time in a quarter-century last season. Their only section losses came against the Spartans.

Big hits have come throughout the lineup. Ella Kasperowicz hit an RBI sacrifice fly in the eighth inning in a 3-2 walk-off win over North Allegheny.

Alexia Brown, Jocelyn Langer, Kenzie Gillis, June McCune and Marissa DeLuca have homered. Ace pitcher Gabriella Aughton, a Boston College recruit, has been in fine form all year.

Boys lacrosse

After placing third in Section 2-3A, the Rams will look to keep the momentum they’ve built in the back half of the year.

They finished behind North Allegheny and Shady Side Academy in section play.

The Rams have won five of six after losing eight of their first nine. They closed section play with an 8-7 win over Fox Chapel.

Cooper Zancosky leads the team in scoring as part of a potent attack with Zachary Sporrer and Andrew Mellis.

Pine-Richland won the WPIAL title in 2019.

Girls lacrosse

The Rams placed second behind Shady Side Academy in Section 1-3A and figure to be one of the favorites to compete for a WPIAL title. They were 11-4 heading into their regular season finale against Upper St. Clair.

Pine-Richland’s lone section loss came against the Bulldogs in the season opener.

Seniors Zoe Katres and Erica Hudock and juniors Mary Dziubek and Hannah Young captain an experienced team that’s blossomed under first year coach Alex Hodowanec.

The Rams won WPIAL championships in 2017 and ’18.

Dudkowski and Hartwick break records

Joey Dudkowski is out for track and field for the first time as a senior after a stellar basketball career, but he put his name in the Pine-Richland record book twice in one day.

Dudkowski broke the school record in the 400 meters May 9 with a time of 50.88. That record stood for 16 years and was previously held by Alex Simmons (51.45).

Nick Hartwick broke the 200 record with a time of 22.59, edging former record holder Bryan Overton’s 22.60.

Dudkowski and Hartwick along with Brad Gelly and Luke Rudolph set a new mark in the 400 relay with a time of 42.96.

All three records were set at the Northern Area last chance to meet, which was hosted by Pine-Richland.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

Tags: Pine-Richland

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