Alle-Kiski Valley H.S. lookahead: Week of April 9-14
• One of the area’s top softball rivalries kicks off as Burrell hosts Deer Lakes in a Section 1-4A contest at Bon Air Elementary. The Bucs and Lancers split their matchups last season, and Deer Lakes secured the section title. Burrell (1-1, 1-0) won its section opener last week over South Allegheny, 12-1. Deer Lakes (1-0, 0-0) beat Mars, 6-5, on Friday.
• Freeport (2-0, 2-0) began the season with a pair of Section 1-4A victories over Greensburg Salem and Highlands, and the Yellowjackets will look to keep it going against Derry (0-2, 0-1). The Yellowjackets pitching shined in those two games. One of Derry’s losses was a 1-0 defeat to Deer Lakes, so the Trojans bring some arms to the battle, as well.
• Valley (2-2) hasn’t played in more than two weeks, since a season-opening trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. But Shady Side Academy, the Vikings’ opponent for a Section 1-4A game, hasn’t played — period. Both teams advanced to the WPIAL playoffs last season.
• Runs could come in bunches as Freeport hosts South Allegheny in a Section 1-4A softball game. The teams split their games last season and tied for second place in the section behind Deer Lakes. A total of 48 runs were scored in the two games.
• A pair of up-and-coming softball teams meet in a Section 3-A game as St. Joseph (1-0, 0-0) hosts Riverview (1-0, 1-0). Both teams return most of their starters after advancing to the playoffs last season, and both posted strong victories to begin the season — although St. Joseph’s came two weeks ago.
• The Deer Lakes/Freeport baseball rivalry takes center stage as the Yellowjackets (2-0, 2-0) host the Lancers (4-2, 1-1) at Freeport Community Park. The teams split their games last season, and they’ll look to gain an early edge in Section 1-4A.
• Two seasons ago, Norwin and Plum baseball met in the WPIAL championship game, and the Knights came out on top. Wednesday’s matchup won’t have nearly the same stakes, but the Mustangs (4-1) and Knights (1-1) will look to gain an early edge in the Section 2-6A standings.
• In another Section 1-4A softball rivalry between Alle-Kiski Valley teams, Burrell hosts Freeport at Bon Air Elementary. Freeport swept the Bucs last season, with both teams advancing to the WPIAL playoffs.
• Could the third time be the charm? After two postponements, Riverview (1-0, 1-0) and Leechburg (1-1, 0-0) will make a third attempt to play their Section 3-A game at Riverside Park. Both advanced to the WPIAL playoffs last season, but Leechburg swept the season series.
• Highlands and Knoch, a pair of local rivals, meet for a Section 1-4A softball game. The Golden Rams (0-1, 0-1) were no-hit in a season-opening loss to Mt. Pleasant but look for a better result against Knoch (1-0, 0-0), last season’s section co-champion.
• In the third game of a Section 1-4A softball round-robin with Burrell, Freeport (1-0, 0-0) hosts Deer Lakes (1-0, 0-0). The Yellowjackets snapped Deer Lakes’ long section winning streak in 2016, but the Lancers claimed both meetings and the section title last season.
• St. Joseph (1-0, 0-0) broke through to the WPIAL softball playoffs for the first time last season. Leechburg, meanwhile, holds the longest postseason streak in WPIAL history at 31 years. The Blue Devils (1-1, 0-0) will host the Spartans in a Section 3-A contest between playoff hopefuls.
• Leechburg and St. Joseph split their Section 1-A baseball matchups last season. It was the only section victory for both teams. With new coaches in tow and high hopes for the future, the Blue Devils (0-2, 0-2) and Spartans (0-2, 0-2) meet for the first time in 2018.
• Steel Valley was unbeaten in Section 1-3A last season. Burrell finished right behind the Ironmen in the standings, and the Bucs (1-0, 0-0) will look to put an early blemish on the Ironmen’s record this season with a game at Huston Middle School.
• Latrobe hosts the Lady Spartan/Wildcat Invitational track and field meet, one of the top early season competitions.
• Another of the top early track and field meets of the season will take place at West Mifflin for the TSTCA Outdoor Championships.