West Greene’s Madison Renner, right, and Lexie Mooney hold the trophy as they celebrate the Pioneers’ win over Williams Valley in the PIAA Class A Championships at Penn State.

Ask anybody who has attempted to do so and they are likely tell you that it’s harder to defend a championship than it is to win one for the first time. The West Greene softball team would agree. The Pioneers won their first PIAA Class A championship in 2017, beating Williams Valley with a wild comeback. With only one starter from that team lost to graduation, West Greene was a team with great expectations in 2018 but also one that was targeted by every opponent. The Pioneers upgraded their schedule but kept running into a talented Monessen team. The teams split two regular-season games and shared the section title. West Greene scored three runs in the final inning to rally for a one-run win in the WPIAL finals, then rallied again to beat the Greyhounds in the state semifinals. In the championship game, West Greene faced Williams Valley for the third year in a row. The Pioneers pounded out 19 hits, which included center fielder McKenna Lampe hitting for the cycle, and won 11-7 to become the first team from Washington or Greene counties to repeat as state champions.

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