Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Blue Devils sweep rival Redskins

Independence shortstop Katie George entered her senior season 0-6 against rival Cuyahoga Heights.

Last month, she helped the Blue Devils snap that losing streak with a 17-3 win over the Redskins and on Wednesday she tripled and knocked in three runs in Independence’s 8-2 win to complete the season sweep of their rivals.

“It feels great,” George said. “We focused on not being over confident from our previous win with them and we stayed strong and worked together. As a senior, I love seeing the girls working together and realizing their roles as teammates. I love sweeping them both times my senior year. It's nice to finally have the wins over them. We waited long enough.”

Cuyahoga Heights scored two runs in the top of the first but the lead didn’t last long.

Olivia Pallini hit a one out single in the bottom of the second and scored on Mallory Trombetta’s sacrifice bunt. Sophie Piteo then walked and Ashley Caputo hit an RBI single to tie it. Jenna Suhy then reached on an error that scored Caputo and George tripled home Suhy. Kim Rega then hit an RBI single to make it 5-2.

The Blue Devils added to their lead with two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth.

George led off the fifth with a single to center and scored on a wild pitch. Kim Rega singled and later scored on an error.

Piteo led off the sixth with a single and scored on George’s single later in the inning.

“It’s huge,” said Independence coach Steve Ambrose of the sweep. “It’s our rival. That makes a season.”

Freshman Sarah Piteo kept the Redskins batters in check for most of her seven innings.

She allowed just one earned run on five hits and struck out four.

“She did great,” Ambrose said. “She went the full game and didn’t walk many players. She got a lot of first pitch strikes.”

Even Piteo’s mistakes turned into positive plays for the Blue Devils.

“One time, they had one out and two on and Sam Rodriguez was up to bat,” Ambrose said. “They tried to double steal on us and we got an out. We were going to intentionally walk her with two strikes. Jenna (Suhy) stood up for the intentional pitch and Sarah threw a strike right down the middle.”

George finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs batted in. Rega was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Sophie Piteo was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Sarah Piteo also had a hit and an RBI.

“Everyone just came in and did their jobs,” Ambrose said. “People put down bunts, we sacrificed an out for a run. People just did what they were supposed to do and when they do that they get the runs.”

Independence improved to 12-5 overall and 9-2 in Chagrin Valley Conference play.


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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