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Monessen game pushed back to today

| Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Jim Ference | The Valley Indepndent
Monessen's Head Baseball Coach Bill Matush.
Charleroi High School softball coach Trey Tilghman on Monday, March, 17,2014.
California baseball coach Nick Damico.

Much like it did with the regular season, rain has already wreaked havoc with the WPIAL baseball and softball playoffs.

Monessen's WPIAL Class A first round game against Our Lady of Sacred Heart, scheduled for Monday at Upper St. Clair, was postponed and will be played 4 p.m. today at Washington & Jefferson University field.

W&J's field is located behind Consol Energy Park in North Franklin Township.

Originally, when the WPIAL postponed the game, it moved it to Wednesday at USC.

However, Monessen Athletic Director Gina Naccarato said she received a call from the WPIAL early Monday afternoon stating that the game would be played Tuesday at W&J instead.

In all, several games were postponed on Monday. However, only the two early postponements at USC – the Monessen game and West Mifflin against South Fayette – were rescheduled by Monday evening.

West Mifflin-South Fayette will be played 6:30 p.m. today at W&J after the Monessen-OLSH contest.

Greyhound coach Bill Matush said he was frustrated with the postponement.

“I just don't understand our game being canceled,” Matush said. “When the WPIAL called us, the sun was coming out. And our site was the only one postponed.

“We were ready to play.”

The Greyhounds (8-6) played the Chargers (13-5) in the first round a year ago and were eliminated.

And with various degrees of rain in the forecast for the entire week, more postponements could be a possibility further adding to the WPIAL headache.

Charleroi: ‘It's about time.'

When Charleroi Area (11-3) takes the field against McGuffey (12-3) 4 p.m. today at California University's Lilley Field in a Class AA softball playoff game, The Lady Cougars will be breaking a lengthy playoff drought.

The last time Charleroi participated in the softball playoffs was in 1999 when the Lady Cougars bowed to South Park, 2-0, in the first round. When the Lady Cougars won the section this year it marked the first section title in softball since 1992.

First-year coach Trey Tilghman felt going in it was time that Charleroi returned to winning ways in softball and he let the players know it early on.

“We pretty much developed a motto of ‘It's about time' at the beginning of the season,” Tilghman said. “We even got shirts with that slogan printed on them that the girls have worn all season and before every game when we get together, we say it.”

Looking at McGuffey, Tilghman has done his homework.

“They have a couple of really solid payers and they like to hit the ball,” he said. “We're going to have to keep them off-balance.”

Does he expect his team to have some playoff jitters?

“Not really,” he said. ‘This is something the girls have wanted all season. Like we have been saying – its about time. I think we're ready.”

California Area stands alone

Going into Wednesday's Class A quarterfinal game against the winner of the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic/Rochester game that was rained out, top-seeded California (17-0) enjoys a real distinction.

The Trojans are the only unbeaten baseball team remaining in the WPIAL.

California first-year coach Nick Damico.

“I never thought we'd be undefeated, to be honest,” Damico said.

Do the Trojans feel pressure of carrying a perfect record into the playoffs?

“Absolutely not,” Damico said quickly. “It's baseball. We're just playing and having fun.”

Even though the Trojans were expected to be strong this season with a veteran team, Damico said it was hard work and commitment that has led to the success.

“The guys came in and bought into our system and ran with it,” he said. “And we moved around guys in the infield, putting them at new positions and they have gotten comfortable and made less errors.”

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or

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