When the Mount Pleasant Vikings finished third in their section and were given the No. 12 seed for the Class AAA postseason, it seemed unlikely the Vikings would make a deep playoff run. Not only did Mount Pleasant capture gold on Friday, the Vikings did so in convincing fashion, with a 10-0 mercy rule win against West Allegheny.
Courtesy of its five-inning victory at Lilley Field at California University of Pennsylvania, Mount Pleasant claimed its first WPIAL softball title. On their path to the championship, the Vikings knocked off the No. 1, 3, 4 and 5 seeds.
Sophomore pitcher Meadow Uncapher tossed a five-hit shutout against the usually potent Indians’ lineup, issuing no walks and striking out two. Uncapher made a big impact at the plate, too, as she belted a three-run homer in a third inning, when the Vikings scored seven runs to take command.
In that decisive frame, the Vikings opened with four straight hits, as Kayla Queer doubled, Ava Gnibus and Chloe Poulich singled, and then Uncapher delivered her blast to left field. After two straight outs, Mount Pleasant added to its lead, as Maddie Kromer singled, and the Indians’ committed consecutive errors. After Queer reached again on a walk, Gnibus plated a pair of runs with a single.
Staked to a significant lead, the Vikings (13-5) never looked back, as they added another run in the fourth on a Jenna Schultz single. In the fifth, Poulich blasted a solo homer, and Kromer brought home Nikki Klejka on a two-out single.
Ahead by 10 runs, the Vikings needed to hold West Allegheny (19-2) off the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth to record the mercy-rule victory, and they did just that, as Uncapher retired the side in order.
Mount Pleasant collected 16 hits, with each batter contributing at least one hit. Gnibus and Kromer paced the attack with three hits apiece.
In the setback for the Indians, Ashley Seamon took the loss in the circle. At the plate, Seamon, Brooke Wilson, Lexi Cogis, Carly Eger and Taylor Cummings collected the hits, all singles.
Both teams advance to the PIAA Class AAA playoffs, which begin on Monday. Mount Pleasant will play Bellefonte, the District 6 winner, while West Allegheny will face District 9 champion Punxsutawney.
Mount Pleasant Vikings : 0 – 0 – 7 – 1 – 2 = 10 -16 – 1
West Allegheny Indians : 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 = 0 – 5 – 3