By Mike Longo Jr.
WPIAL Spring regular seasons have ended for a variety of sports including lacrosse, volleyball, softball and baseball. These sports have all entered the "Second Season" aka, the playoffs.
Ultimately, the goal is to be crowned a champion and to sport some new jewelry, a gold medal.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart’s 2023 Softball Edition seems poised to make a run at acquiring some new necklaces. They are headed to the Semi-Finals and a matchup with No. 7-seeded Riverside.
So far, the playoff road for the Chargers has been exciting, to say the least.
Five seniors are the team's mainstay, the rest of the line-up is balanced and well-rounded.
First up, a Round 1 date with Shenango. This game was worth the $7 admission cost as it served up great defensive plays along with thrilling offensive explosions.
Chargers Juliet Vybiral will long remember the opening round game in which she lead OLSH to a nail-biting 6-5 win. Vybiral was an offensive machine as she ripped two doubles along with a legit inside-the-park homerun.
A fleet-footed shortstop, Vybiral seems to be the most vocal on the team, a true team leader.
That's not to say the others aren't vocal, she just takes it to another level and her teammates respond.
Vybiral was certainly the hero offensively, which complimented flame-throwing Pitcher Justena Giles ability on the mound. Inside the circle, Giles struck out 9 Wildcat batters in seven innings.
Producing at the plate as well that day were Morgan O'Brien and Leann Walzer. The pair had two hits along with an RBI in the contest for the Chargers.
With the win, OLSH moved on to face No. 3-seeded Serra Catholic, who received a first-round Bye in Class 2A.
Unlike their opening round game, Round 2 saw the Chargers fall behind early, trailing 2-0 as they erased that deficit to collect the upset win by a final of 6-3.
Once again, Vybiral comes up big driving in the first Charger run of the day cutting into the Serra Catholic lead 2-1.
Looking for a breakout inning in a tight contest, OLSH finally was able to solve the mystery of the Serra Catholic pitcher.
For the Chargers that inning was lucky No. 5.
The first OLSH lead of the contest came compliments of Leann Walzer and her effort from the dish. Walzer blasted a two-run homer to Center Field in the fifth inning putting the Chargers up 3-2. Not to be outdone at the plate, Justena Giles immediately followed up the shot over the fence by Walzer with a sizzling double. Giles would score on a laser single by Ali Domachowski which gave the Chargers a 4-2 cushion and all the makings of an upset.
Julia Pinter notched the Chargers another run with her infield single as the OLSH lead grew to 5-2.
Pinter's hit capped off a four-run fifth inning for the Chargers.
OLSH only yielded one more run to their opponents securing the win and sending them a WPIAL Semi Final date with Riverside.