Saturday, January 28, 2023

Blue Devils bounce back with big win at Hawken

GATES MILLS–If there’s one thing first-year Independence coach Steve Ambrose no longer has to worry about it’s how his team will bounce back after a tough loss.

The Blue Devils dropped a 9-0 loss to Kirtland on Tuesday but responded with a 33-0 drubbing at Hawken on Wednesday.

While the Blue Devils had trouble mounting an offensive attack against Kirtland, they pounded out 24 hits, including six doubles and two triples, against the Hawks.

“It's nice to see them swinging the bats,” Ambrose said. “I think they were a little bit timid up at the plate (against Kirtland). I think they were a little more relaxed and wanted to swing the bat.”

Jenna Suhy and Katie George led off the game with back-to-back singles. Suhy scored on Kim Rega’s ground out and George crossed the plate on an error. Mallory Trombetta, who reached on an error, later scored to give the Blue Devils a 3-0 lead.

Rega struck out the side in the bottom of the first and the Blue Devils added six more runs in the top of the second.

Ashley Caputo led off the inning with a double and Sophia Trombetta and Suhy hit back-to-back singles. Rega and Sarah Piteo also had hits in the inning.

Rega again shut down the Hawks in the bottom half of the inning.

Independence blew the game open with a 12-run third.

“It is a good sign,” Ambrose said of the offensive outburst. “It's positive. I think that's going to put them in a better mindset for the game against Wickliffe (on Thursday) and for the rest of the year.”

Sarah Piteo pitched the final three innings for the Blue Devils. Hawken managed just two hits in the game.

“It was good to see us play good defense,” Ambrose said. “We were low on errors and passed balls. The pitchers were a little bit more accurate today than they were yesterday.”

Suhy finished the game 3-for-5 with five runs scored and an RBI. Katie George was 4-for-6 with three runs scored a double and four RBI. Rega was 2-for-4 with a triple and four RBI. Maggie George was 3-for-6 with three runs scored, two doubles and three RBI and Sophia Trombetta was 2-for-2 with three runs scored and an RBI.

Sarah Piteo was 2-for-5 with four runs scored, a triple and three RBI and Mallory Trombetta scored five runs on a double and knocked in a pair of runs. Sophie Piteo had a double and two RBI and Haley Nelson had two hits for the Blue Devils.

Neenah Costanzo and Olivia Pallini also had hits for Independence.

Independence travels to Wickliffe on Thursday.

“It's not going to be the same,” Ambrose said. “But, they've got to relax and play it the same way.”


Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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