STATE COLLEGE — Get blog updates, sponsored by Humes of Waterford, all day before today’s PIAA Class AAA softball final between the Fort LeBoeuf Bison (20-4) and the Valley View Cougars (19-0). Their game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Penn State University’s Nittany Lion Softball Park.
This updates blog will run until about 4:45 p.m., before a live blog, also sponsored by Humes of Waterford, is scheduled to start at 5. Those interested in posting comments or asking questions can do so in the comments section for potential response in the main section.
Earlier posts will appear in the previous entry section.
– Mike Copper
4:52: We’re going to shut down this portion of the blog. Please check in with our live blog above at 5 p.m. Thanks.
4:41: Neshannock and Williams Valley are scoreless after two innings of the Class A final.
4:38: The skies over Nittany Lion Softball Park appear threatening at times, but the delay in the start of Fort LeBoeuf and Valley View will have more to do with the 12-inning Class AAAA final and the Class A final starting at 4:20.
4:36: Neshannock and Williams Valley are scoreless after 1 1/2 innings of the Class A final.
3:52: The weather is strange at the moment. Although sunny, the clouds surrounding the stadium threaten to rain. It appears the heavy stuff at the moment is passing to the north.
3:51: The A final between Neshannock and Williams Valley is expected to start shortly after 4 p.m. It’s extremely doubtful that Fort LeBoeuf and Valley View will start their AAA final at 5:30 p.m., as scheduled.
3:30: Will be temporarily shutting down until an auxiliary media seat can be found.
3:25: Final score from the AAAA final. Canon-McMillan beats Neshminy 4-3 in 12 innings, which ties for the longest softball final in PIAA history.
3:19: Neshaminy just missed tying it with a two-run homer. The RBI double pulls the Redskins within 4-3 with one out.
3:13: Canon-McMillan 4, Neshaminy 2 going to the bottom of the 12th.
3:09: By the way, LeBoeuf just left to go warm up beyond the park’s center-field fence.
3:08: Linda Rush just hit a two-run home run for the Big Macs, who lead 4-2.
3:06: Canon-McMillan 2, Neshaminy 2 going to the 12th. The AAAA final is now tied for the longest final, by innings, in PIAA softball history.
3:02: Neshaminy ties it at 2-2 and now has the winning run on second base with one out.
2:59: Canon-McMillan scores on a sacrifice fly. Big Macs 2, Neshaminy 1 going to the bottom of the 11th.
2:53: It’s looking doubtful that the LeBoeuf-Valley View game will start at its scheduled 5:30 p.m. first pitch. Neshaminy broke up Astuto’s no-hitter to tie Canon-McMillan at 1-1 going to the 11th inning of the AAAA final. The Neshannock-Williams Valley AAA final is still to be played before the Bison and the Cougars.
2:48: Neshaminy ties the score at 1-1. Runners at second and third with one out.
2:46: Neshaminy breaks up Astuto’s no-hit bid after 9 1/3 innings. Redskins have first and third with one out.
2:42: Canon-McMillan scores via the international tiebreaker rule in the top of the 10th.
2:40: Cloud cover is temporarily breaking up again.
2:39: Canon-McMillan 0, Neshaminy 0 after nine innings, with the Big Macs’ Alayna Astuto pitching a n0-hitter. The international tiebreaker rule is now in effect.
2:30: Canon-Mac and Neshaminy still scoreless after 8 1/2 innings. If Neshminy doesn’t score in the bottom of the ninth, the international tiebreaker rule will be implemented for the 10th inning and beyond.
2:21: Canon-McMillan pitcher Alayna Astuto has no-hit Neshaminy for eight innings — but the game is still scoreless. (Anyone remember Harvey Haddix?)
2:19: Just learned that Fort LeBoeuf will be the home team for the AAA final against Valley View.
2:17: We’re getting stray drops of rain here at Nittany Lion Softball Park.
2:13: Canon-Mac retired 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth inning.
2:07: The LeBoeuf-Valley View game could get a late start. Not because of the weather, but because of Canon-McMillan and Neshaminy. The AAAA finalists are scoreless going to extra innings, with Canon-Mac starter Alayna Astuto pitching a n0-hitter.
1:52: Just spoke with Fort LeBoeuf coach Brian Krisch, whose Bison are starting to set up camp behind center field for warmups whenever the AAAA final ends.
1:51: Canon-McMillan and Neshaminy scoreless going to the seventh inning.
1:43: Canon-McMillan strands a runner at third. Still scoreless against the Redskins going to the bottom of the sixth inning. The Big Macs’ Alayna Astuto has no-hit Neshaminy through five innings.
1:37: First significant news for Fort LeBoeuf fans. The Bison bus has arrived, with players and personnel starting to check in with officials.
1:36: Canon-McMillan and Neshaminy are scoreless after five innings. Neshaminy has not recorded a hit, while Canon-Mac has two.
1:27: Canon-Mac has the only two hits of the AAAA final, but it remains scoreless after 4 1/2 innings.
1:20: Still no score after four innings of the Class AAAA final between Canon-McMillan and Neshminy.
Sun is peaking in and out of the clouds. Still not of the rain variety.
1:16: Valley View has arrived and is setting up camp behind the left field bullpen. Still no sign of Fort LeBoeuf’s bus or players.
1:15: No score between Canon-McMillan and Neshminy going to the bottom of the fourth.
1:06: No score between Canon-Mac and Neshaminy after 2 1/2 innings. Getting cloudier here at Penn State, but still not of the rain variety.
1:04: A good sign for Fort LeBoeuf? Former Iroquois coach Bernie Fitch is in the stands. Fitch led the Braves to their three PIAA softball championships (1982, 1983, 1991).
1:02: Canon-Mac and Neshaminy scoreless after two innings.
12:52: Canon-Mac and Neshaminy scoreless after 1 1/2 innings.
12:46: Canon-Mac and Neshaminy scoreless after one inning.
12:41: Still no sign of rain, although the cloud cover is starting to thicken.
12:40: Canon-Mac fails to score after its first at-bats.
12:34: Some Fort LeBoeuf fans have started to filter into the stands. Still no sign of the Bison, though.
12:33: Canon-McMillan and Neshaminy now under way.
12:12 p.m: The weather remains fine for the second game. Canon McMillan seeks its first PIAA softball title, while Neshaminy goes for its first since 2003.
11:55: Another sign of the times. Neshaminy is line dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” as part of their pregame warmups.
11:44: Next up at 12:30 p.m. is the Class AAAA final, Canon-McMillan vs. Neshaminy.
11:28: Final score in the AA final: Brandywine Heights 1, Riverside 0.
11:24: A reminder that Fort LeBoeuf did not hold a morning practice, as originally scheduled at State College High School. The Bison are expected to arrive here around 2 p.m.
11:22: Brandywine Heights 1, Riverside 0. Riverside must score at least once in the top of the seventh.
11:17: Brandywine Heights 1, Riverside 0 going to the bottom of the sixth inning. A Brandywine infielder just caught a dropped pop up to the Bullets’ pitcher. The play was along the lines of Pete Rose’s catch of Bob Boone’s dropped pop up in the 1980 World Series.
11:13: Brandywine Heights 1, Riverside 0 going to the sixth inning. The District 3 Bullets are two innings away from their first state softball title.
11:07: Brandywine Heights 1, Riverside 0 going to the bottom of the fifth of the AA final.
This is the third straight year that the PIAA finals have taken place at Penn State’s facility, which opened in 2011. Judging by amenities and layout, don’t look for these state championship games to be moved elsewhere anytime soon.
11:02: The forecast for State College still calls for the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms. However, Riverside and Brandywine Heights are currently playing under sunny skies with partial clouds. Temperatures are in the low 60s, but it feels like it’s in the 70s with the humidity.
11:00: Sorry to take to long to post again. The press box at Nittany Lion Softball Park is currently standing-room only, with plugs and seats at a premium.
Brandywine Heights just took a 1-0 lead over Riverside in the fourth inning of the AA final.
9:23: Will be headed to the park around 9:30 a.m. Hope to resume posting here sometime after 10 a.m.
9:18: Today’s other PIAA softball finals are Class AA Riverside and Brandywine Heights at 10 a.m.; Class AAAA Canon-McMillan and Neshaminy at 12:30 p.m.; and Class A Neshannock and Williams Valley at 3 p.m.
9:12: Marty Myers has covered Valley View softball for the Scranton Times-Tribune. Here’s one of his preview stories from the Cougars’ perspective for today’s game.
9:04 a.m: The weather forecast calls for the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms throughout Happy Valley. However, the sun is currently peaking around partly cloudy skies at the moment.
Weather delays would leave the LeBoeuf-Valley View game in jeopardy of being postponed until Saturday because it’s the last of the PIAA’s four finals scheduled.