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    Cantini powers Kirtland past Cardinal


    Gianna Cantini did it all for Kirtland in a 13-0 five-inning win over visiting Cardinal on Monday.

    Cantini was 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored, five runs batted in, and a home run, and she also pitched a five-inning no-hitter with eight strikeouts in the win.

    “I love hitting home runs. It’s such an amazing feeling to crush the ball with a bat,” Cantini said. “I’ve never thrown a no-hitter before, so this is special to me because I could share it with my shortstop Gianna DiFranco. She’s our glue.”

    After issuing three walks in the top of the first and dealing with back-to-back fielding errors in the second, Cantini pitched out of both jams and retired 11 of the next 12 batters she faced.

    “When it comes to pitching, for me, it’s all about hitting my spots and controlling my pitches,” Cantini said. “Plus, the defense behind me was really solid today. My catcher, (Madison) Matijevic, was phenomenal behind the plate tonight. She’s my rock.”

    Kirtland scored five runs in the bottom of the first on just one hit but the Hornets drew four walks and had two batters hit by a pitch.

    Cantini hit a solo shot with two outs in the second. The four-bagger was her fourth of the season.

    “I saw a nice fastball down the middle,” she said. “I approached the at-bat with the mindset to sit back on the pitch and drive the ball. I may have already mentioned this, but I love hitting home runs.”

    Chloe Ungrady, who was 1-for-2 in the game, also had an RBI hit in the inning.

    The Hornets scored three runs in each of the third and fourth innings to invoke the run rule.

    Kirtland managed just nine hits but three went for extra bases. In addition to Cantini’s home run, Malia Becker and Morgan Carmosino both doubled.

    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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