Saturday, May 27
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    Independence hosted Crestwood on Friday with redemption on its mind and the Blue Devils cruised to a 7-2 win over the Red Devils.

    Last spring, Crestwood scored a late run to defeat the Blue Devils, 4-3.

    “It was an awesome experience,” said Independence coach Mallory Kobak. “We had the game we had against them last year in mind when we lost in 4-3 in the top of the seventh inning, so we were really excited to be back in action and to be challenged and come out with the win.”

    Independence wasted little time taking control of Friday’s game.

    Anna Weber hit a two-run single in the bottom of the first and then Cat Rieger led off the bottom of the fourth with a double and Ally Biondi hit a two-run home run later in the inning to push the lead to 5-0.

    “Ally finally hit a home run over the fence,” Kobak said. “We’ve been working a lot the last couple of weeks on her just relaxing her swing and keeping her head and shoulders on that ball and she finally did it today. I think she had an 0-2 count on her and she crushed a home run over the center fielder’s head. It was awesome.”

    Biondi struck out in her first at-bat but more than made up for it with the home run.

    “It is very exciting hitting my first home run for this team and this season,” Biondi said. “It was and 0-2 count and I knew I just had to get the ball in play. It felt amazing to get the strike and just feel it off my bat. I knew it was gone as soon as I hit it and can’t wait to keep doing this for my team.”

    The home run was even more impressive considering the lack of playing time the Blue Devils have had due to multiple games being rained out. Biondi also missed time with an injury.

    “It has been such a struggle to only have two games and not know when we are playing,” Biondi said. “The team works hard every day at practice just like it is a game. I think it shows when we come out and play and to show what we can do. It is so much fun to get back playing after I couldn’t contribute to the team due to my injury. I am so excited I can contribute to the team and have the team that I have. I couldn’t do it without them being there for me and teaching me new things.”

    Crestwood used a two-out rally to score a run in the top of the fifth. Gianna Kalista hit a two-out double and scored on Bella Hunter’s double.

    Independence responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning.

    Sophie George singled and moved to third on Ashleigh Porter’s double. George scored on Weber’s groundout and Porter scored on a Rieger sacrifice fly to push the Independence lead to 7-1.

    The Red Devils closed out the scoring with a run in the sixth, again on back-to-back doubles. This time, it was Mikayla Berquist and Aimee Barnauskas with the two-baggers.

    Porter picked up the pitching win after allowing just two runs on seven hits. She struck out three.

    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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