Westmoreland high school notebook: Piper sizzles for Ligonier Valley softball

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Wednesday, May 15, 2024 | 7:55 PM


Even in the playoffs, teams are paying the Piper.

Ligonier Valley softball pitcher Cheyenne Piper continued to erase hitters with her tricky movement and change of speeds as she twirled her second straight no-hitter, this one a perfect game.

Piper, a senior Westminster commit, blanked Keystone Oaks, 8-0, as she struck out 14 and did not walk a batter Tuesday — 21 up, 21 down — to open the WPIAL Class 3A postseason.

Piper fanned 16 in a 7-0 win, no-hit effort against Indiana in the last regular-season game for the Rams (13-5), the No. 2 seed in the tournament.

“She has really performed,” Rams coach Mark Zimmerman said.

“We just go at it,” Piper told Westmoreland Sports Network. “We focus on ourselves. We don’t worry about what they can put up.

“My team has really been there for me.”

Piper, who also threw a perfect game when she was a sophomore, improved to 14-5 with a 1.08 ERA (0.64 WHIP). She has 212 strikeouts and 12 walks in 122 2/3 innings. Piper has great respect for standout pitchers who commanded the circle before she took over the most important role on the field.

“I really admire Jane (Garver) and Maddie (Griffin) and everyone who came before me,” Piper said. “I really appreciate what they put up. It pushed me further.”

Ligonier Valley will take on Ellwood City (15-4) in the quarterfinals Thursday.

Special K’s

Piper not only topped 200 strikeouts for the season but also cleared 500 K’s for her career.

There were other pitching milestones reached this week:

Jeannette sophomore Grace Stein hit 300 K’s in less than two seasons’ of work.

Latrobe senior Kayla Williams reached 400 K’s for her career.

Southmoreland was stunned by Freeport, 6-3, in the 3A first round. Freeports Sydney Selker topped 500 career K’s.

No-hit Tuesday

In a collision of zeros, a number of local teams witnessed no-hitters Tuesday in the first round of the WPIAL softball and baseball playoffs.

Piper was perfect for Ligonier Valley, but Jeannette softball, Greensburg Central Catholic softball and Greensburg Salem baseball also witnessed no-nos.

Jeannette did not produce a hit against Northgate and pitcher Johna Abramowicz but still won 4-0, taking advantage of miscues.

GCC did not get a hit in an 11-0 loss to Charleroi in five innings. And Cooper Scharding of Avonworth did not allow a hit in a 7-0 win over Greensburg Salem.

Cougars extend streak

Yough softball stretched its streak of reaching the WPIAL quarterfinals to nine with a 2-1 win over McGuffey in the first round.

The Cougars, seeded No. 9 in Class 3A, worked out of a key jam in the seventh.

The Highlanders loaded the bases before the Cougars escaped the threat.

Reliever Adoria Waldier came on the seventh to shut down McGuffey and earn the save. She recorded two strikeouts and threw out a runner at the plate.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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