Thursday, September 23, 2021

Piteo’s no-no leads Independence past rival

CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS—Sarah Piteo dominated the day in leading Independence to a 10-0 five-inning win over rival Cuyahoga Heights in a Strike Out Cancer game on Saturday at Bacci Park.

Piteo threw a no-hitter for the second time this season and also 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and knocked in a pair of runs.

“This is our rival so it’s a big game as it is, but it’s for Cancer so we wanted to come out and do our best for that reason as well,” Piteo said. “My teammates did their job. That’s what they did and that’s all we could ask for. We were strong 1-9 today. We got our hits in and we got our RBIs. It was a fun game for us.”

The Blue Devils, who improved to 16-2 overall and 9-0 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division, got off to a slow start by boing 1-2-3 in the top of the first.

After regrouping, Independence went on to score 10 runs in the next four innings to finish off the Redskins.

“That’s Cuyahoga Heights, it’s the Steelers against the Browns,” said Independence coach Garry Moore. “You’re all geared up to play your rival and you get through that first inning and then they settled in.”

Maggie George started the second-inning rally with a single. She moved to second on Olivia Pallini’s single then stole third. Ashley Caputo hit a two-out single to score both runners.

Jenna Suhy, who moved from catcher to shortstop for the game, led off the third with a double and Kim Rega reached on a fielder’s choice. Piteo doubled home Suhy and George hit a sacrifice fly to score Rega. Pallini doubled to score Piteo and later crossed the plate on a passed ball to make it 6-0.

Caputo, Suhy, Rega and Piteo all singled in the three-run fourth and Caputo singled and scored on an error in the fifth to push across the decisive run.

The Blue Devils pounded out 11 hits in the game with Caputo leading the way with three. Suhy, Piteo and Pallini each finished with two.

Just two Cuyahoga Heights batters reached base safely, both on Independence errors early in the game.

Piteo retired the final 10 Redskins she faced.

“Her curveball was outstanding and the location of her changeup was outstanding,” Moore said. “She put it inside or outside, wherever she wanted to. I don’t care if I put Sarah in or Kim Rega (to pitch). I have complete confidence in both of them to do their job. I don’t have a No. 1. They’re both No. 1.”

Independence hosts Wickliffe on Monday.

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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