Cheyenne Piper has produced her fair share of memorable performances for Ligonier Valley, including a 12-strikeout no-hitter against a strong Indiana lineup in the final game of the regular season on Thursday.

Turns out, Piper was saving her best for last.

The standout senior twirled a perfect game with 14 strikeouts on Tuesday, leading the Rams to an 8-0 victory against Keystone Oaks at Gateway High School in the first round of the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs. A Westminster recruit, Piper also surpassed 500 career strikeouts in the win, and she has now pitched 15⅓ consecutive innings without allowing a hit.

“During warm-ups, Sydnee [Foust] came up to me and said, ‘You have 11 more,'” Piper said. “And I said, ‘For what?’ And she said, ‘Until you reach 500 strikeouts.’ And I said, ‘You shouldn’t have told me that, because that’s all I’m going to think about.’

“It’s definitely [a game] I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.”

On top of tossing back-to-back no-hitters, Piper has pitched eight shutouts on the year, and her record now stands at 14-5 with an ERA of 1.08 and a WHIP of 0.64 to go with 212 strikeouts and only 12 walks in 122⅔ innings pitched. She has allowed two runs or less in 17 of 19 games this season.

Believe it or not, this is actually the second perfect game of Piper’s career. She also pulled off the feat as a sophomore in a win against Punxsutawney while filling in for then-ace pitcher Maddie Griffin, who also pitched her fair share of perfect games for the Rams.

“She had good stuff today and hit her spots,” said Ligonier Valley coach Mark Zimmerman. “The defense played well behind her, as they have all year. Collectively, Keystone Oaks wasn’t able to do much against her.”

Ligonier Valley’s Cheyenne Piper notched her 500th career strikeout while pitching a perfect game against Keystone Oaks. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Ligonier Valley’s bats were also alive and well on Tuesday, as shortstop Abby Springer and right fielder Allie Heffelfinger each drove in a pair of runs, and Heffelfinger also added a highlight-reel catch to preserve Piper’s perfect game. Elsewhere, catcher Sydnee “Pudge” Foust and second baseman Marlee Miller each registered a pair of hits and an RBI to help Piper’s cause.

“As a team, we’re one,” Piper said. “We all get along and we work together very well.”

Ligonier Valley will now advance to the quarterfinal round to take on another unfamiliar opponent in No. 10 Ellwood City on Thursday.

“I know absolutely nothing about them,” Piper said. “We didn’t know anything about Keystone, either.”

After starting the season with 10 wins in their first 11 games, the Rams fell into a 1-4 skid during a five-game stretch against top-notch competition toward the end of the season. But thanks to Piper’s potent pitching and some timely hitting, Ligonier Valley turned things around at just the right time. The Rams ended the regular season with wins against Class 5A quarterfinalist Latrobe and Class 4A quarterfinalist Indiana, regaining some much-needed momentum heading into the playoffs.

“They know from the beginning of the year that our end of the year is going to be tough,” Zimmerman said. “We schedule it that way. We want it that way. We don’t run from that. That’s what we want. We got what we wanted out of it. … We enjoy playing good competition, because we know that at the end, you’re going to see some good competition here, too.”

Ligonier Valley’s Sydnee Foust tallied a pair of hits for the Rams in an 8-0 win against Keystone Oaks in the first round of the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Other Class 3A

• Joining Piper in the 500-strikeout club just a couple hours earlier at Gateway, No. 12 Freeport senior Sydney Selker fired a complete game with 11 punchouts in a 6-3 upset win against No. 5 Southmoreland, last year’s WPIAL runner-up in Class 3A. Addy Caruso belted a two-run homer and Selker also notched a pair of hits and scored a pair of runs in the win. The Scotties rallied to tie the score after Caruso’s homer gave the Yellowjackets a 2-0 lead, then Freeport went back on top with four runs in the top of the sixth. Maddie Brown fanned 15 batters for Southmoreland in the defeat.

• Top-seeded and two-time defending champion Avonworth had little trouble dispatching No. 16 Hopewell with a 12-2 triumph at North Allegheny. Junior shortstop Sydney Savatt went 4 for 4 with three extra-base hits for the Antelopes, including a game-ending home run to activate the mercy rule. Avonworth ace Alivia Lantzy went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles while allowing two runs on three hits with five strikeouts in six innings of work, and Jayla Jones and Emma Obersteiner each tallied three hits for the Antelopes.

• No. 5 Mohawk rallied from a two-run deficit with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, pulling off an 8-5 come-from-behind win against No. 12 Waynesburg at Montour. Addison Moskal went 2 for 4 with a double and a go-ahead two-run triple for the Warriors, and Gianna Pezzuolo picked up the win in relief.

• No. 6 Central Valley cruised past No. 11 Mount Pleasant for a 6-1 win at West Mifflin. Emma Weaver pitched a complete game for the Warriors while allowing one run on five hits and one walk and striking out seven, and she also had a pair of hits in the win.

• Kylee Fisher struck out seven and allowed six hits while picking up the win for No. 9 Yough in a nail-biting 2-1 win over No. 8 McGuffey at Norwin. Katie Proctor added an RBI double for the Cougars, while Faith Ealy and Maura Janovich each picked up a pair of hits for the Highlanders.

• No. 3 South Park survived a scare against No. 14 Deer Lakes, prevailing in a 1-0 pitchers’ duel at Fox Chapel and advancing to the quarterfinal round thanks to a complete-game shutout from Sydney Sekely.

Steel Valley’s Lily Wright (4) and Elaina Tichon celebrate after they both scored to tie the game 4-4 in the fourth inning against OLSH in the first round of the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at North Allegheny. OLSH won, 8-5. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Class 2A

• No. 5 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning, then withstood a furious comeback attempt by No. 12 Steel Valley to escape with an 8-5 victory at North Allegheny. Leann Walzer swatted a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to provide some much-needed insurance for the Chargers.

• Sofia Celaschi and Kaylee Sypolt each drove in a pair of runs for No. 6 Charleroi, and Celaschi also pitched a five-inning shutout to lift the Cougars to an 11-0 mercy-rule win against No. 11 Greensburg Central Catholic at Norwin.

• Zoe Offie tallied three hits, Brianna Aluisia added an RBI double and Kennedi Lynn struck out eight for No. 7 Shenango, helping the Wildcats eke out a 5-4 win against No. 10 Burgettstown at Mars.

• No. 4 Serra Catholic racked up six runs in the first inning and never looked back, rolling into the quarterfinals with an 11-3 win over No. 13 Beth-Center at Peters Township’s Peterswood Park.

OLSH’s Leann Walzer swatted a clutch two-run home run to help the Chargers secure an 8-5 win against Steel Valley in the first round of the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at North Allegheny. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Class 1A

• Sophomore standout Grace Stein struck out 15 in a two-hit shutout for No. 6 Jeannette, which didn’t record a hit but still managed to score four unearned runs to take home an unorthodox 4-0 win against No. 11 Northgate at West Mifflin. Johna Abramowicz pitched a no-hitter and struck out nine while walking six and plunking three batters in a valiant losing effort for the Flames.

• Maya Ringhoff went 3 for 4 with a pair of RBIs and earned the win in the circle, while Karis Dunham went 3 for 3 with three doubles and five RBIs to help No. 7 South Side secure a 13-3 mercy-rule win over No. 10 Monessen at Montour. Halina Matijevich added a pair of hits for the Rams, while Kenidi Cook tacked on a double and drove in a pair.

OLSH’s Morgan O’Brien tries to tag out Steel Valley’s Lily Wright in the first round of the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at North Allegheny. OLSH won, 8-5. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)


Class 3A first round

Avonworth 12, Hopewell 2

Central Valley 6, Mount Pleasant 1

Ellwood City 4, Burrell 2

Freeport 6, Southmoreland 3

Ligonier Valley 8, Keystone Oaks 0

Mohawk 8, Waynesburg 5

South Park 1, Deer Lakes 0

Yough 2, McGuffey 1

Class 2A first round

Charleroi 11, Greensburg C.C. 0

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart 8, Steel Valley 5

Riverside 9, Apollo-Ridge 8

Serra Catholic 11, Beth-Center 3

Shenango 5, Burgettstown 4

Class 1A first round

Jeannette 4, Northgate 0

Jefferson-Morgan 10, Carlynton 0

South Side 13, Monessen 3

West Greene 11, Leechburg 1

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Steve Rotstein

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at