Friday, September 22, 2023

Ungrady, Vernon lead Kirtland past Cuyahoga Heights

Elizabeth Vernon was 4-for-4 with two doubles and Emily Ungrady flirted with perfection to lead Kirtland to a 7-0 win at Cuyahoga Heights on Wednesday.

Ungrady gave up a single to the first Cuyahoga Heights hitter then retired 19 straight until another Redskin reached base in the seventh inning on a dropped third strike. She struck out 11 and threw just 71 pitches to the 23 batters she faced. She also had three hits, including a double and a triple, and knocked in three runs.

“Ungrady is tough,” said Kirtland coach Jamie Kamensky. “She threw a gem today. She was in control and her stuff looked good. At the plate, she was in the zone as well. It’s good to see her in full swing going into next week.”

Vernon doubled in the first and the third innings and singled in the fifth and sixth. She scored two runs and knocked in another.

“Vernon is hot at the plate again,” Kamensky said. “Her swing looks good and her focus has locked in.”

Vernon’s two-out double in the third sparked a four-run rally for the Hornets.

“I was super locked in at the plate,” Vernon said. “I went into the game telling myself that I was going to hit today. I’ve been working hard at getting out of the box as soon as I make contact with the ball. This allows me the opportunity for extra bases.”

Katie McCollister followed Vernon’s extra-base hit with a single and Ungrady doubled to make it 2-0. Vikki Carriero’s single made it 3-0 and she scored on an error.

The Hornets added two more in the fifth when Vernon singled and stole her way to third. Ungrady then tripled and scored on Carriero’s single.

Julia Camino hit a two-out single in the sixth. She stole second and scored on Vernon’s single to make it 7-0.

Camino also played third base for the first time and recorded two putouts.

“Julia Camino is a diamond in the rough,” Kamensky said. “She stepped in today and played a stellar third base. She laid out for a bunt and almost turned it into a double play. Her versatility and her plate appearances are making her someone to watch out for.”

The Hornets, who improved to 11-4 overall and 9-2 in the Chagrin Valley Conference, collected 11 hits in the game and did not commit an error.

“Overall, top to bottom today, we played awesome,” Kamensky said. “The feel was light and it was just a good vibe. There is no easy route going into the postseason and this was the first stepping stone toward making any type of run.”

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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