Ligonier Valley softball stays perfect with shutout of Seton LaSalle

Friday, April 9, 2021 | 9:37 PM

Ligonier Valley softball coach Mark Zimmerman is learning on the fly during the Rams’ return to the WPIAL.

The veteran coach doesn’t know much about his opponents after the Rams spent more than 40 years in District 6.

But Ligonier Valley has missed a beat, no matter what district it competes in. It is still finding ways to win games.

“The score doesn’t matter if its 12-0, 6-0 or 2-1,” Zimmerman said. “No matter if you win or lose, you move on to the next game.”

Pitching, defense and timely hitting sparked Ligonier Valley to a 4-0 victory against Seton LaSalle on Friday at Donaldson Field in Ligonier. The game was delayed after a brief downpour blew through the valley a half-hour before the game.

Junior pitcher Maddie Griffin threw her third consecutive shutout, and Kailey Johnston drove in two runs, scored the winning run and had two doubles as the Rams improved to 2-0 in Section 2-2A.

Griffin, who no-hit Brentwood and Punxsutawney, allowed four hits, three by opposing pitcher Casey Barton, and struck out 14. She walked two batters.

And when Seton LaSalle did put the ball in play, her defense was rock solid, especially shortstop Haley Boyd.

“I had a hard time keeping them off balance,” Griffin said. “I asked my pitching coach if she knew anything about them and she didn’t. I didn’t know much about them. The defense behind me was solid, and I’m thankful because I hadn’t used them as much this season.”

Ligonier Valley grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Johnston doubled with one out. Boyd, who had three hits, singled to left to move her to third base. And with the bases loaded, Johnston scored on an error.

The Rams had trouble putting the ball in play against Barton, who was effective working the inside corner.

“The season has gone pretty good,” Zimmerman said. “The offense has been pretty good, but we struggled some today. The girl did a nice job. Her change-up gave us some problems, and she was locking us up inside.”

Ligonier Valley (3-0) made it 2-0 in the fifth inning when Griffin singled, swiped second and scored on Boyd’s single.

“Maddie is a strong pitcher and good competitor,” Zimmerman said. “You get every ounce out of her every time she’s out there.”

The Rams used two-out lightning to finish the scoring in the sixth inning when Eden Krouse singled, Griffin doubled her to third and Johnston followed with a two-run double.

Barton scattered eights, walked one and struck out 11.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at

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