Independence pitcher Sarah Piteo closed out the 2018 season with another memorable performance this week.
Piteo, who played a major role in leading the Blue Devils to the Division III regional championship game, was selected to play in the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches’ Association Underclassmen All-Star Tournament at Pickerington Central High School on Monday and Tuesday.
“To be able to participate in something like that was really cool,” Piteo said. “I have been waiting for this opportunity since I was a freshman, so I really had a good time down there. For me, being selected shows me that all the hard work that I put in and all the time my coaches have put in with me is paying off.”
The selection process included a tryout for eligible players shortly after the state softball tournament.
Piteo had tried out before but wasn’t selected for the Northeast team until this year.
“Twenty girls are chosen, two for every infield and outfield position and then three pitchers and catchers,” Piteo said. “I’ve been trying out since I was able and every year the coaches told me how close I was, so it was very rewarding this year to finally make it.”
The Northeast team won four of the five games it played.
Piteo pitched a total of 11 innings in four games and also finished 6-for-8 at the plate with five singles and a double.
“Being able to play with the great teammates I got the chance to play with showed me that so many other girls work just as hard as me and have the same love and passion about softball that I do,” Piteo said. “I learned that playing with and against those great players brings out my best game.”
Now that her junior season is officially in the books, Piteo is looking ahead to her senior season and another deep postseason run.
She knows it won’t be easy but playing with so many other great players from around the state leaves her inspired to put in the necessary work to achieve her goals.
“This entire experience has brought me to meet friends that I know I will have for a long time,” she said. “This team also introduced me to a lot of great coaches and former and present college athletes. This experience also allowed me to see that hard work truly does pay off and to keep working hard because there are so many girls out there who are working just as hard and want to succeed just as much as I do.”