Lady Leopards Shutout 17-0 West Branch to Gain New Life – Softball
Louisville 3, West Branch 0
The Louisville Leopards Varsity Softball Team reversed their fortune in a 3-0 shutout victory over the visiting West Branch Warriors Wednesday Evening at the Diamond of Dreams. With the victory, the #4 ranked Lady Leopards improve to 16-1 on the season and 7-1 against the NBC.
Just 9 days earlier, Louisville surrendered double digit runs on 20 hits in a gut-wrenching 10-9 loss at West Branch. The Leopards turned the tables Wednesday on the right arm of Starting Pitcher Sarah Cantley who threw a complete game 5-hit shutout. Cantley struck out 10 Warriors without walking a single one in the process.
The game remained in a scoreless deadlock until the bottom of the sixth inning. Teagan Rice singled to left to start the inning. Then Kaycee Ollis hit a double that planted at the base of the fence to put runners on second and third. West Branch elected to intentionally walk Cantley to load the bases with no outs.
Alex Fankhauser stepped into the box as a pinch hitter, took a called called strike, and then fouled off 3 straight pitches. Fankhauser drove the next pitch through the middle of the infield and into center field on a hard hit grounder. Rice scored from third and Ollis came home from second to give the Lady Leopards a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Justina Sirohman added to the Louisville cushion with a sacrifice fly to deep right field scoring courtesy runner Ashley Zifer from third to make it 3-0.
The Warriors made things interesting in the top of the seventh as a pair of singles left two on with just one out. But Cantley struck out the next batter looking and the final hitter swinging to end the game.
Louisville out-hit West Branch 7-5 for the contest. Ollis finished 2-for-3 to lead the Leopards and Kelsey Byers also finished 2-for-3 for the Warriors. Byers was also superb in a losing effort in the circle. She pitched all 6 innings, gave up 3 runs on 7 hits, and struck out 10.
With the victory, the Lady Leopards have now defeated West Branch in 26 of their last 29 meetings but have split the season series in each of the past 3 seasons. Louisville leads the all-time series 46-19 which includes a 25-5 mark at home. The Leopards have now defeated the Warriors 18 straight times at home with their last home loss to West Branch coming on March 30, 2000 in a 5-4 defeat. Through their membership in the NBC, Louisville holds a 43-15 mark against the Warriors in conference games.
NOTE: 2002 game locations are not accounted for in our records if anyone has any insight on these please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
JV: Louisville 17, West Branch 14
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UP NEXT: The Louisville Leopards Softball Team will next host the Marlington Dukes on Thursday, May 2 at 5:00 PM.
VARSITY SOFTBALL BOX SCORE
LEOPARDS 3, WARRIORS 0
West Branch 000-000-0–0-5-0
WEST BRANCH WARRIORS SOFTBALL VARSITY BATTING STATS
WEST BRANCH WARRIORS SOFTBALL VARSITY PITCHING STATS
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS SOFTBALL VARSITY BATTING STATS
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS SOFTBALL VARSITY PITCHING STATS
Records: Louisville 16-1, 7-1; West Branch 17-1, 9-1