Thursday, September 23, 2021

Blue Devils open Florida trip with a split

Independence’s softball team opened its season with a doubleheader split at Disney’s Wide World of Sports on Monday.

The Blue Devils opened the day with too many mistakes in a 5-4 loss to St. James School out of South Carolina then rebounded with a 17-5 win over Kentucky’s Jackson City High School.

“We should have beat that team from South Carolina and the girls know it,” said Independence coach Garry Moore. “We outhit them and outplayed them but we made mistakes running the bases and made errors at the wrong time. We had the bases loaded and didn’t score a run. They know they gave the first game away but we won the second game and they’re hitting the ball well, which is nice.”

Independence pounded out 11 hits in the first game with Morgan Pascarella, Molly Dougherty, and Olivia Pallini each collecting two. Pallini, Maggie George and Kim Rega doubled in the loss.

Sarah Piteo allowed three earned runs and struck out four in six innings of work.

The Blue Devils exploded for 20 hits in the second game.

Rega, Pallini, Dougherty and George all had three hits and Jenna Suhy and Piteo each finished with two. Dougherty and George led the Blue Devils with three RBI each.

“Molly Dougherty in two games went 5-for-6 with five RBIs and two doubles,” Moore said. “She came in the first game against a tough pitcher and she hit her twice.”

George finished the day 4-for-7 with three RBI and Pallini was 5-for-9.

Rega picked up the win in game two.

She allowed three earned runs and struck out four in three innings of work. Piteo finished off the game with six strikeouts in three innings.

“Sarah did really well in the first game,” Moore said. “The errors kind of killed us and she gave up two 0-2 pitches. One was a home run and one was a double. She has to keep that ball off the plate and she knows that. Kim came in the second game and she has to throw strikes. She’s crushing the ball offensively but pitching-wise she didn’t really have it. Those two are going to have to pick up the slack all year. I don’t care if they go two innings or whatever it takes to get the win.”

The Blue Devils play at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

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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