Thursday, September 16, 2021

Huskies jump on Skippers to collect first win

Cardinal’s softball team jumped on host Fairport Harding early in Monday’s Chagrin Valley Conference showdown and never let up.

The Huskies pounded out 17 hits in the 16-6 six-inning win.

“Everybody played well, especially for as cold as it was,” said Cardinal coach Dennis Ikeler. “Hanna Traggiai, for her first varsity game, did a nice job pitching. She struggled in one inning but came back and battled back and held herself together.”

Cardinal scored three runs in the top of the first when Kaitlyn Shantery drew a leadoff walk, Anne Rupinski singled and Faith Peters hit a one-out triple. Peters scored on a groundout.

The Huskies added four more in the second when Traggiai and Erika Ellis hit back-to-back singles and then Shantery and Rupinski hit one-out singles. Sydney Hahner then tripled and scored on a Peters double. Hannah Hill and Kayla Valentine then singled.

“Our bats were alive,” Ikeler said. “I knew we were going to be pretty strong with our bats. Faith was hitting the ball solid, Sydney Hahner had a couple real nice hits; everybody all around did a nice job.”

Peters finished 3-for-3 with four runs scored and she knocked in four runs. Valentine finished 3-for-4 and Rupinski, Hahner, Traggiai, and Ellis each had two hits for the Huskies. Sarah Hogue also had a hit for the Huskies.

The offensive explosion helped Traggiai battle the nervousness she experienced in the circle for the first time on the varsity squad.

“Feeling nervous before any of my games is a rare occurrence, but tonight was definitely an exception,” she said. “I was both anxious to get our first game in and to pitch well. I was pretty comfortable in my first inning but struggled in the second. I think about the third inning, I really started to settle in and throw my game.”

Traggiai allowed six runs on three hits; four of those runs came in the second inning. She struck out seven and walked 10.

“Pitching is definitely more of a mental game than physical and I quickly came to feel that pressure in the second inning,” she said. “There’s always room for improvement, but seven strikeouts is a great benchmark to have set.”

Cardinal travels to Kirtland 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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