JEFFERSON HILLS, Pa.; June 11, 2024 – The Thomas Jefferson High School softball team will look to cap an incredible post-season run on Thursday, June 13 when the Jaguars face Pittston Area HS in the PIAA 5A Championship game.

The title contest is scheduled for 4 p.m. start at Penn State's Beard Field at Nittany Lion Softball Park in State College. The game will air live on PCN. Thomas Jefferson (15-8) has won 6 of its 7 post-season games. Pittston Area, the District 2 champions, is 21-1.

The WPIAL 5A runners-up as the No. 10 seed, the TJ softball squad is seeking to become the first Thomas Jefferson girls team to win a state championship in the 65-year history of the high school. The TJ football, hockey and boys soccer teams have captured state titles, with the football squad's 2019 and 2020 PIAA crowns the most recent.

Thomas Jefferson advanced to the program's first state championship game by rallying from 6-0 and 8-4 deficits to beat Central Mountain, 9-8, on Monday. Senior Zoe Krizan, a Drexel signee, was 3-4 with 5 RBI, including a three-run double and a solo home run. Freshman pitcher Aubrey Shaffer had five strikeouts, including her 100th of the season in the first inning. Pittston Area defeated previously unbeaten South Western, 2-0, in its semifinal.

The Jaguars are led by head coach Heidi Karcher, who played softball at Penn State in the early 1990's when the Nittany Lions were transitioning into the Big Ten Conference. Karcher has been the Jaguars' head coach since 2013.

"We've been doing it all year for Hoppy," Karcher said after the semifinal victory, referring to the Jaguars' long-time head and assistant coach John "Hoppy" Mitruski, who passed away suddenly in May 2023.

Tickets good for Thursday's trio of PIAA titles games are $8 (plus fees) and will not be sold at the gate. Fans must buy tickets in advance at: . Pre-kindergarten age children are admitted for free. The PIAA 1A game begins at 11 a.m. Thursday, followed by the 3A contest at 1:30 p.m.

Thomas Jefferson is the high school serving the West Jefferson Hills School District.

Important information for TJ fans attending Thursday's PIAA 5A Softball Championship game:

-There is LIMITED free spectator parking on the NW side of the ballpark, off Park Avenue. Additional free parking is available in the Stadium West lot, adjacent to Beaver Stadium; enter off Park Avenue.

-TJ is the home team and will have the first base dugout.

-There is no re-entry if fans leave the stadium.

-No strollers or pets are permitted inside the stadium.

-Lawn chairs are permitted but can only be used in the 3rd base grassy knoll area.

-Nittany Lion Softball Park has a limited bag policy. Backpacks and briefcases are not permitted inside the stadium and all bags are subject to search. Small purses, wristlets, fanny packs, diaper bags, camera bags and clear, one-gallon plastic bags are permitted.

-Concessions and restrooms are located on the first base side of the stadium.

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