Leopards Overcome Rough Start to Win Sectional Against Jackson 4-3 – Softball

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#1 Louisville 4, #9 Jackson 3

The top seeded Louisville Leopards Softball Team rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the visiting #9 Seed Jackson Polar Bears 4-3 in the DI Massillon Sectional Finals Thursday Evening at the Diamond of Dreams. With the victory, Louisville improves to 21-1 on the season and advances to play the #4 Seed Lake Blue Streaks in the District Semifinals on Wednesday, May 16 at 2:30 PM at the Eagles #190 Sports Complex in Massillon.

Sarah Cantley hit a go-ahead 2-run homer just inside the left fair pole to give the Lady Leopards a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Cantley did the rest with her arm in pitching a complete game, giving up 2 earned runs on 4 hits, and striking out 8 to lead Louisville.

It wasn’t a pretty start for the top seeded Leopards in the opening frame. The first three Polar Bears reached base as they produced the first run of the game. Sophia Bernard single home Lexi Eckman for the initial score. After two quick outs, Elizabeth Bara singled to center scoring Ellie Chevalier to make it 2-0 Jackson midway through the first.

The Polar Bears added to their total in the third. Megan Dechellis reached base after being called safe on a bang-bang play at first and then advanced to second on a 6-3 groundout. After the second out was recorded, Samantha Petit reached on an error scoring Dechellis from second to make it 3-0.

Petit was the last Jackson player to reach base as Cantley retired the final 13 Polar Bears in striking out 6 in the process. The Junior pitcher has now held the opposition hitless in 16 of her last 18 innings pitched.

While Cantley made sure the deficit didn’t get any bigger in the circle, her teammates went to work in the batter’s box. Round 2 began with Sydney McKeever using her lightning speed to beat out a grounder to third for an infield single. Three pitches later, Teagan Rice blistered a single to center that was misplayed and carried all the way to the fence. McKeever scored on the play and Rice ended up at third. Louisville would cut the deficit to 3-2 in the next at-bat when Kaycee Ollis hit a sacrifice fly to deep right scoring Rice. A double play ended the threat, but the Leopards were still clawing.

Later in the fifth, Rice led off the inning with a single to left. After an out, Cantley came to the plate. She worked the count to 3-1, fouled off 3 pitches, and then went opposite field for what proved to be the game-winning 2-run homer. The dinger was her third in the last 6 days. Louisville has now gone yard 20 times as a team this season.

The Lady Leopards are now an even 33-33 all-time in tournament play which includes a 19-4 mark in tournament games played at home. Louisville finishes their second straight season with an undefeated record at the Diamond of Dreams going 10-0 for this campaign. The Leopards have now won 31 consecutive home games overall. This is also Louisville’s 7th Division I Sectional Championship in the last 8 seasons.


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UP NEXT: The Louisville Leopards Softball Team will next travel to Carrollton to take on the Warriors on Monday, May 14 at 5:00 PM.

Updated DI Massillon District Bracket

Leopard Nation $5 Challenge

VARSITY SOFTBALL BOX SCORE

LEOPARDS 4, POLAR BEARS 3

Team 123-456-7–R-H-E

Jackson 201-000-0–3-4-1

Louisville 002-020-X–4-8-1

JACKSON POLAR BEARS SOFTBALL VARSITY BATTING STATS

LineupABRHRBIBBSO
Lexi Eckman310000
Ellie Chevalier311000
Sophia Bernard302100
Skakune300001
Bara301101
Samantha Petit200000
Camden Malachowski200011
A McMullen200002
Sophia Fornicola000000
Anna Darrah100001
Fornicola200001
Danielle Veigel100001
M Dechellis010000
Cutts
Totals2534218
Batting

TB: Ellie Chevalier, Sophia Bernard 2, Bara 
RBI: Sophia Bernard, Bara 
ROE: Samantha Petit 
HBP: Lexi Eckman, Samantha Petit 
CS: Sophia Bernard 

Totals

Team QAB: 5 (17.86%) 
Camden Malachowski, Samantha Petit, Sophia Bernard, Skakune, Bara 

Team LOB: 4

Fielding

E: Fornicola 
DP: Bara, Fornicola 

JACKSON POLAR BEARS SOFTBALL VARSITY PITCHING STATS

PitchingIP#PS%HRERSOBBHR
Cutts6.0116.569842641
Totals6.0116.569842641
Pitching

L: Cutts 
Pitches-Strikes: Cutts 116-66 
Groundouts-Flyouts: Cutts 3-7 
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Cutts 15-28 

LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS SOFTBALL VARSITY BATTING STATS

LineupABRHRBIBBSO
Sydney McKeever412002
Teagan Rice222010
Kaycee Ollis200101
Sarah Cantley111220
Alex Fankhauser300000
Justina Sirohman300000
Ellie Jackson302000
Lauren Bennett100001
Shae Thomas100011
Lexi Zavarelle301001
Ashley Zifer000000
Riley Bobo
Totals2348346
Batting

HR: Sarah Cantley 
TB: Sarah Cantley 4, Ellie Jackson 2, Sydney McKeever 2, Teagan Rice 2, Lexi Zavarelle 
RBI: Sarah Cantley 2, Kaycee Ollis 
SF: Kaycee Ollis 
CS: Sydney McKeever 

Totals

Team QAB: 16 (57.14%) 
Sarah Cantley 3, Alex Fankhauser, Ellie Jackson 3, Sydney McKeever 2, Kaycee Ollis, Teagan Rice 2, Justina Sirohman, Shae Thomas, Lexi Zavarelle 2 

Team LOB: 6

Fielding

E: Justina Sirohman 

LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS SOFTBALL VARSITY PITCHING STATS

PitchingIP#PS%HRERSOBBHR
Sarah Cantley7.0100.790432810
Totals7.0100.790432810
Pitching

W: Sarah Cantley (17-1)
HBP: Sarah Cantley 2 
Pitches-Strikes: Sarah Cantley 100-79 
Groundouts-Flyouts: Sarah Cantley 6-6 
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Sarah Cantley 24-28 

Records: Louisville 21-1, 12-13

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