Saturday, May 14, 2022 | 5:16 PM
Ligonier Valley ace softball pitcher Maddie Griffin could miss Wednesday’s WPIAL playoff opener, and possibly be out longer, because of an injury to her throwing hand.
The senior right-hander, who tossed a 21-strikeout perfect game earlier this season, was hurt Monday during a game at Apollo-Ridge.
Griffin hit a grounder and was running to first base. On a close play, the first baseman’s glove slammed into Griffin’s hand and bend it backward.
She has not played since.
The fluke incident has Griffin resting and icing the hand as she holds out hope for a comeback.
“She’s on the shelf,” Rams coach Mark Zimmerman said. “We’re taking it day by day. Having a little time (between games) helps. It’s tough, but there’s nothing you can do about injuries. They can happen at any time.”
Said Griffin: “It’s game-to-game on when I will be coming back.”
Ligonier Valley (14-3), the returning PIAA runner-up and the No. 3 seed in this year’s Class 2A tournament, is set to take on Bentworth (4-9) in the first round at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Norwin.
“I feel terrible for Maddie, but we are proud of her for handling it as well as she has,” Ligonier Valley athletic director Joe Skura said. “She was helping coach the ladies from the sideline (last) week.”
Fortunately for the Rams, sophomore Cheyenne Piper has developed her pitching skills.
Griffin (8-2) has pitched a lot less this year, essentially splitting time with Piper (7-1).
The heir apparent to Griffin, Piper also threw a perfect game this year, and she and Griffin have thrown multiple no-hitters.
“That was the plan all along to get Pipe in there,” Zimmerman said. “She has been very good. The thing is, when she pitches, you have to move some girls around to different positions. And if we don’t have Maddie … We’re not a very big team to begin with.”
Griffin has 134 strikeouts and a 0.23 ERA, and she has given up just 15 hits and two earned runs in about 62 innings. She has 14 career no-hitters and five perfect games.
Last year, she finished a dominating run with a 19-3 mark, 316 strikeouts and an 0.39 ERA in 143.1 innings.
Piper has a 1.37 ERA with 81 Ks and two walks in 46 innings.
Tags: Ligonier Valley