Softball Evens Score with West Branch, Now Tied For 1st
Louisville 4, West Branch 1
The Louisville Lady Leopards Varsity Softball team defeated the visiting West Branch Warriors 4-1 at the Diamond of Dreams Tuesday Evening. With the victory, Louisville improves to 12-5 overall and is now tied with West Branch for first place in the NBC with a conference record of 8-1.
Morgan Harris (5-2) pitched a complete game, gave up just 1 earned run on 5 hits, and struck out 2 to lead the Leopards. Ninth batter Leandra Givens finished 2-for-2 with a double, an RBI single, and a run scored to lead the offense.
Givens 1-out double in the bottom of the third kick-started a 3-run inning for Louisville. Kaycee Ollis singled to the shortstop in the next at-bat and Givens slipped past the tag to arrive safely at third base. Ollis advanced to second base on defensive indifference and was replaced for courtesy runner Riley Bobo. Teagan Rice walked after that to load the bases for Grace Jackson.
In a wild plate appearance, Givens scored on a passed ball and Bobo scored on an illegal pitch that also walked Jackson. Next, Emily Cantley drove in Rice to put the Leopards up 3-0.
Louisville would tack on another run in the fourth inning. Rylee Squire singled to left field and advanced to second via an error. Much to the dismay of the West Branch faithful, Head Coach Chet Givens paused the game to pinch run Cassidy Glyder for Squire. The move paid off as Leandra Givens delivered again with a single to left. Glyder sprinted around third base, collided with the catcher at home, and palmed home plate to make it 4-0 Lady Leopards.
Louisville’s defense helped eliminate several West Branch scoring threats. Harris fell over catching a bullet that would have been a sure hit to center field in the second inning. A Leopards 5-3-6 double play ended the Warriors threat in the third inning. Cantley fielded a ground ball at third and threw over the Squire for the put-out at first. Then Squire threw back across the diamond to shortstop Peyton McKeever who tagged out the West Branch runner attempting to slide into third.
In the fourth inning, Savannah Miner made a diving grab in right field for the first out. Next, a slow hit ground ball to the right side of the infield could have been devastating as the Warriors runner slid safely into first. However, Squire threw over to the other side of the diamond where a West Branch runner found herself in a pickle. Rice tagged out the runner as she tried to dive back to second base for the second out and the Leopards got out of the jam.
The Warrior fifth ended in similar fashion. The West Branch batter bunted and beat the throw to first. However, Rice fired to second base to catch the advancing runner sneaking a little too far off the bag. McKeever applied the tag ending the frame.
The Warriors broke the shutout in the sixth when Maddie Pidgeon hit a solo homer over the fence in left field. West Branch would not get another hit the rest of the way as Louisville iced the win.
Warriors Pitcher Kylie Coffelt fanned 10 Leopards in only 6 innings during a losing effort in the circle. West Branch has now lost two straight after starting the season 15-0.
With the victory, the Leopards haven now defeated the Warriors in 24 of their past 25 meetings overall. This was the 60th meeting between the two rivals with Louisville holding a 44-16 edge in the all-time series which includes a 23-5 mark at home.
UP NEXT: The Lady Leopards will next travel to North Canton Hoover to take on the Vikings on Wednesday, April 27 at 5:00 PM.
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