Piper provides perfect pitching performance for Ligonier Valley softball

Thursday, April 7, 2022 | 6:14 PM

Cheyenne Piper arrived at the ballpark Wednesday ready to play. She didn’t know, however, she would be pitching.

Just perfect, she thought.

Perfect, indeed.

The sophomore from Ligonier Valley tossed a perfect game as the Rams blanked visiting Punxsutawney, 7-0, at Donaldson Softball Field.

Not bad for her first start.

Piper struck out 15 and did not issue a walk as she retired all 21 batters she faced.

Cool under pressure, she cruised through the Chucks’ order with precision and poise. Zimmerman handed her the game ball before and after the game, the latter gesture as a keepsake.

“It was a comfortable position to me and I knew I had a good defense behind me,” said Piper, who threw 74 pitches. “I didn’t know I’d be pitching until I showed up for the game, but I knew I had to be prepared for it beforehand with the circumstances. “It was a rush of, ‘Wow, I’m really getting to do this,’ and focusing on the next pitch.”

Piper, who normally plays shortstop for the Rams but pitches in travel ball for the Vipers East Latrobe, took the circle when coach Mark Zimmerman decided to rest senior ace Maddie Griffin, who knows a thing — or five — about perfect games.

Griffin threw 11 no-hitters and five perfect games last season when she went 19-3 with a 0.39 ERA and 316 strikeouts.

Piper said she can learn from Griffin, a Youngstown State commit considered to be one of the best arms in the state. She pitched in relief of Griffin in the game in which Griffin was injured, against Seton LaSalle.

“She usually talks to me before the game and between innings,” Piper said. “She tells me her usual thought process of the situation I’m in at the time and always motivates me to do better and keep putting pressure on them.”

Piper also had a hit and scored twice in the victory for the Rams (3-2), the PIAA Class 2A runner-up last season.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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