Kirtland junior Emily Ungrady won two events in her first appearance in a track meet last week. She followed that up by throwing a no-hitter and setting a new school-record with 19 strikeouts to lead the Hornet softball team to a 6-0 win over visiting Cuyahoga Heights on Monday.
The no-hitter was the first of the season for Ungrady, who has recorded double-digit strikeouts in all seven of the full games she has pitched in this season and nine times on the year.
“Ungrady is a kid that won’t allow anything to keep her down,” said Kirtland coach Jamie Kamensky. “She struggled a bit on Saturday finding her rhythm. Today, she bounced back and was just incredible. She threw 19 strikeouts on the mound and then followed it up with a huge home run to right center. She’s a fighter and a true component of how Kirtland Softball plays.”
Ungrady is now 9-4 in the circle with 120 strikeouts in 80 2/3 innings.
She struck out the side in five of seven innings and faced just 25 batters. The Hornets committed two errors and two Redskins drew walks. She struck out seven Heights batters on three pitches each.
“On the mound was great today,” Ungrady said. “Vikki (Carriero) was calling a great game overall. The mood was great out there. Everyone was out there having a good time. I’m glad I was able to perform at that level tonight for my team. It was a great feeling.”
Ungrady, who also finished 2-for-3 at the plate with three runs batted in, gave the Hornets an early 1-0 lead when Elizabeth Vernon drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball.
Vernon scored on an Ungrady groundout.
Ungrady singled and moved to third on two passed balls in the third. She scored on Kaitlyn Mancini’s groundout to make it 2-0.
The Hornets added two more in the fifth when Colleen Baldrey drew a walk and Samantha Bates reached on an error. Both runners scored on another Cuyahoga Heights error.
Katie McCollister singled to set the table for Ungrady’s sixth-inning home run to right field.
“The first ball I hit, I was way out in front of it and I knew I needed to wait on the ball more and when this ball came it was an outside pitch,” Ungrady said. “I was able to go with the pitch and take it to the opposite field and it felt great coming off the bat; it was super smooth. That feeling was amazing. It was a close game for sure and I was just happy I was able to contribute offensively.”
McCollister, Baldrey and Julia Camino also had two hits for the Hornets, who improved to 12-6 overall and 10-2 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division.
“We looked good,” Kamensky said. “Camino is making a name for herself by putting the ball in play and just doing well. Colleen Baldrey is really stepping up, between her voice and play. We need to continue to push a positive tone and focus on the goods. We’re excited to play tomorrow and we’re ready to battle.”
The No. 4 seed Hornets open the postseason on Tuesday at home against No. 5 Garrettsville Garfield.