Cantley Fans 14 in Rain-Shortened Senior Night Win Vs. Fitch – Softball
Louisville 10, Austintown Fitch 2, 6 Innings
The Louisville Leopards Varsity Softball Team downed the visiting Austintown Fitch Falcons for a 10-2 Senior Night victory in a rain-shortened six inning contest Thursday evening on the Diamond of Dreams. Louisville has now won 11 of their last 12 with the win and improves to 16-3 on the year heading into this weekend’s tournament draw.
Senior Pitcher Sarah Cantley notched her 50th career victory after throwing all 6 innings, giving up just 1 earned run on 2 hits, and striking out 14. She struck out the side in the second and third innings as part of a string of 8 straight punch outs. The 14 strikeouts sets a new school record for most in a six inning contest.
Cantley now completely owns the LHS record book for strikeouts as she previously struck out 15 in a seven inning game against Dover and in a nine inning extra inning contest at Minerva both in 2017. She also fanned 14 in two separate five inning contests in 2017 and 2018.
Despite falling victim to nine strikeouts before, the Falcons managed to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the third inning. Lainie Simons broke Cantley’s string of K’s with a solo homer to center to chop the lead in half. Maddy Taylor doubled in the next at bat and then scored via an error for what amounted to a little league inside the park home run. Those back-to-back cracks would be Austintown’s only hits of the game as Cantley blanked Fitch the rest of the way.
The Lady Leopards offense ignited in the bottom of the fourth inning to give LHS a commanding 10-2 advantage. Louisville’s bats were magical once again as as all eight runs in the frame came with two outs. Lexi Zavarelle and Teagan Rice got the party started with back-to-back RBI doubles. Zavarelle’s line drive double to left plated Shae Thomas. Rice’s 2-run double to right brought home Lauren Bennett and Zavarelle one pitch later. Rice and Kaycee Ollis both advanced around the bases and scored on a series of wild pitches to make it 7-2.
Kaylee Nolte doubled in the next at-bat and Cantley followed with a five pitch walk. Alex Fankhauser brought the runners in after that with a 3-run homer to center to bust the game open at 10-2. For the Junior, it was her 8th dinger of the season and 15th of her career. Fankhauser is closing in on the Lady Leopards single season team record of 11 set by Grace Jackson in 2015 (in 28 games). Louisville has now cleared the fences 24 times as a team in just 19 games this season.
Earlier in the contest, the Leopards took the early lead with a pair of runs in the opening inning. Ollis singled home Zavarelle to break the ice. Two batters later, Cantley reached base on error scoring Ollis from second to make it 2-0.
Louisville is now 3-1 against Austintown Fitch all-time. This is the first time the two teams have played at the Diamond of Dreams.
UP NEXT: The Louisville Leopards Softball Team will next travel to face the Walsh Jesuit Warriors on Wednesday, May 1 at 5:00 PM.
Cover Photo Taken By and Courtesy of Lori Nolte
VARSITY SOFTBALL BOX SCORE
LEOPARDS 10, FALCONS 2, 6 INNINGS
AUSTINTOWN FITCH FALCONS SOFTBALL VARSITY BATTING STATS
AUSTINTOWN FITCH FALCONS SOFTBALL VARSITY PITCHING STATS
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS SOFTBALL VARSITY BATTING STATS
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS SOFTBALL VARSITY PITCHING STATS
Records: Louisville 16-3