Lady Leopards Advance to 1st Ever DI District Title Game
Louisville 3, Jackson 2
Annie Woolf went 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and drove in all three runs during the Lady Leopards 3-2 victory over the Jackson Polar Bears at the Eagles 190 Sports Complex in Massillon Tuesday. With the District Semifinal victory, the Lady Leopards advance to their first ever DI District Final against the undefeated #1 ranked North Canton Hoover Vikings on Wednesday.
In their five previous DI District Tournament contests the Lady Leopards managed to score just two runs. They matched that total in the opening inning Tuesday. Amy Hoover bunted aboard to begin the inning and was called safe on a bang-bang play at first. After two straight fly outs, Chandler Rice got aboard via an error to keep the inning alive. That’s when Woolf delivered a rocket that bounced off the track in right-center to bring home both Hoover and Rice to give Louisville a 2-1 lead.
The Polar Bears tied the game up in the third inning when first baseman Abby Funk homered to right field. The homer was just 1 of 5 Jackson hits on the evening.
Louisville responded in the fourth inning beginning with a superb at-bat by Katie Cozy. Cozy’s eight-pitch at-bat ended with her ripping a 3-2 pitch all the way to the fence in center for a double. Two batters later, Woolf doubled off the base of the fence in left to trade places with Cozy and give the Lady Leps a 3-2 lead.
Louisville’s bats went silent after that as the final seven Lady Leopards each recorded outs. It did not matter though, because Louisville’s pitching and defense was nearly flawless. In the final four innings, pitcher Gianna Falcone allowed just two hits and struckout three.
Her 23rd victory of the season did not come without test though. In the opening inning, Jackson loaded the bases via a walk and two Leopard errors. The Senior pitcher allowed an RBI single after that, but limited the damage by getting the next two batters to pop out.
In the sixth inning, a lead-off walk looked to start a Polar Bear rally. Next, a Falcone to Rice combination on a bunt threw out the runner advancing to second to nullify the sacrifice attempt. Right Fielder Grace Jackson then threw out the next hitter by force out at first and Falcone struck out the final hitter on three pitches to leave the Lady Bears threat stranded at third.
In the seventh, Jackson duplicated her sixth inning feat by throwing out an advancing runner by force at second base. With two on and one out, Falcone got the #3 and #4 hitters in the lineup to pop out to Shelby Swigert in center to end the contest.
The Lady Leopards are now 27-28 all-time in tournament play and win their first game on a neutral field since defeating Field 10-6 at Alliance in the DII District Semifinals on May 16, 2005. Louisville is now 3-2 all-time against Jackson in tournament play, but still trails the all-time series with the Polar Bears 11-25.
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Order Individual Player Highlight Video
LEOPARDS 3, POLAR BEARS 2
Hoover | 1-3 | 1B, Run
Swigert | 0-3 |
Cozy | 1-2 | 2B, BB, Run
Rice | 0-3 | Run
Woolf | 2-2 | 2 2B, 3 RBIs
— Givens | 0-0 |
Monnot | 1-2 | 1B
Hupp | 0-2 |
Jackson | 0-2 |
Cox | 0-2 |
Falcone W (23-3) | 7 Innings, 31 AB, 2 Strikeouts, 2 BB, 2 Hits, 2 Runs, 1 HP
UP NEXT: The Lady Leopards will next take on the undefeated 29-0 #1 ranked North Canton Hoover Vikings in the DI Massillon District Finals on Wednesday, May 21 at 4:30 PM.
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