Westmoreland H.S. athletes of the week: Ligonier Valley’s Cheyenne Piper, Greensburg Salem’s Donavin Waller

Saturday, April 16, 2022 | 3:13 PM

Cheyenne Piper

School: Ligonier Valley

Sport: Softball

Year: Sophomore

Claim to fame: Piper had a week to remember, delivering a perfect game and then getting hot with the bat as the Rams won four straight.

She threw a perfect game in a 7-0 victory over Punxsutawney in her first varsity start. She struck out 15 and did not issue a walk filling in for fireballer Maddie Griffin, a senior and regular starter who was resting an injury. Griffin threw five perfect games last season.

Piper then hit two home runs and drove in three runs as the Rams blanked Steel Valley, 15-0, in three innings.

She picked up another win in a 19-0 victory over Jeannette, striking out six while holding the Jayhawks hitless. She also had another homer and drove in three.

For the season, Piper is 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA and has 27 strikeouts and one walk in 15 innings.

Did you see this stretch of good fortune coming?

I’ve been practicing and praying to get better at what I do and how I get it done. I didn’t know what to think going into this stretch except that it all comes in good time and practice, and now’s the time I guess.

Do you see yourself as a pitcher, position player, good hitter, what? Where else do you play on the field?

I see myself as both a pitcher and position player; whichever coach calls me to be that day. Last year, I played left field for Ligonier, and this year my position is short and I get to see some time pitching.

Looking back, what impresses you most about the perfect game?

I’d have to say the time each inning took and how I adjusted to the position being the first time I pitched for varsity.

You can have a ticket to any concert. Which band are you going with?

Definitely Waylon Jennings.

Who is the most famous person you have met?

Clint Hurdle when he was manager of the Pirates.

Name another sport you’re pretty good at.

If you count hunting and fishing, then those two.

Best advice from coach Mark Zimmerman?

I could go on forever about the advice he gives. The best advice he always gives before every game is, “The hungriest dog gets the biggest piece of meat, and if you want to run with the big dogs, you gotta pee in the tall grass.”

Favorite TV show, book and movie?

TV show is “Jane the Virgin” … The Bible … and “Cast Away.”

You make a Sheetz run. What are you getting?

Mac ‘n Cheese bites and Milo’s tea.

Donavin Waller

School: Greensburg Salem

Sport: Track

Year: Senior

Claim to fame: This three-sport athlete started the track season with a double win at the Lady Spartan/Wildcat Invitational. The wins came in the long jump and triple jump, and he rallied to win both events. He jumped 21 feet, 1 3/4 inches in the long jump and 41-8 in the triple jump. He entered the finals in third place. He also high jumps. He has cleared 5-10 this season. In football, he had 35 catches for 509 yards and four touchdowns. He also played basketball.

What was your thought about winning the triple jump?

It was amazing, especially winning both. Heading into the finals of the triple jump, I knew I could win if I made a few adjustments. I hit a few good jumps in the preliminaries, but I fouled. But winning both were huge confidence builders for me. It was a great accomplishment.

What are your best marks in track?

My personal records are 42 feet, ¼ inch in the triple jump, 21-1 ¾ in the long jump and 5-10 in the high jump. I want to better all those marks this season. The school record in the triple is 47-8 ¼ by Julian Thompson and 22-3 ½ by Mike Crimboli in 1970, the school’s oldest standing record.

Do you want to play sports in college?

I do, but I don’t have any football or track offers. I’ve talked to a few coaches about football, but I’m waiting to see what offer is the best. I’m excited to see what I can do if given a chance.

What are your goals for the season?

I want to win of course. But I want to place at the WPIALS and qualify for the state meet. I know I have to continue to work hard. I’m looking forward to the Butler Invitational (April 22). I want to see how I rank against some of the top jumpers in the WPIAL. I also want to win (Westmoreland) county titles.

What is your favorite meal?

I’m a steak guy. I nice 15 oz. piece of steak. No veggies. No potatoes.

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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