Lady Leopards Clinch 4th Straight Outright NBC Title!!
Louisville 9, West Branch 2
Louisville softball went to West Branch on a mission Thursday evening and came away with a 9-2 victory. The win gives Louisville their fourth straight outright NBC Title and their third straight 20-win season. Jordan Monnot’s 2-out three-run homer off the scoreboard in the fifth helped lead the Lady Leopards offense.
Louisville wasted no time in reminding West Branch why they were the 3-time defending champs. The Lady Leps pounded out three straight extra base hits to start the game that produced two runs. Brittany Flanigan tripled to the fence in center and then came home when Emily Isla cracked a double to the same location. Katie Cozy’s double to right-center then brought home Isla to put Louisville up 2-0.
A key double play by the Warriors withheld the Leopards from scoring any more runs in the first inning, but Louisville added on another run in the second. Flanigan singled to the gap in shallow center before being replaced by Brooke Cox as a courtesy runner. After two errors on the next play, Cox moved to third base. She then slid home safely on a passed ball to make it 3-0 Lady Leps.
West Branch tacked on a run in the bottom of the third when Bailey McElwain singled home Allie Garrett. McElwain went on to finish the night 2-for-3 and later hit a double in the fifth inning. Her double came after Emily Weber’s double and thus set up runners on second and third. Then McElwain created a run on a crazy play. Kaylie Lewis grounded out to third base and McElwain started to advance to third. However, Weber remained on third and McElwain started to retreat, caught between second and third. Louisville failed to putout McElwain at second and Weber advanced home sliding in safely for the Warriors second run.
Before all that, Monnot opened up a 3-1 game with a gigantic blast off the inning lights on the scoreboard in center field. Monnot now has two home runs this season, both in away NBC stadiums east of Stark County. Her other home run was a mammoth blast at Salem that cleared the fence by 10-15 feet. Chandler Rice and Cozy trotted home on the hit as well and Louisville took a commanding 6-1 lead.
The Lady Leps added on three more insurance runs in the top of the sixth. Rice singled home Isla, Kylie Zifer hit a sacrifice fly to center to drive in Cozy, and Shelby Swigert provided an RBI single that brought home Rice. All three scoring players recorded their second runs of the contest to put Louisville up 9-2.
On the mound, Flanigan pitched a complete game, struck out 4, and allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits. Flanigan froze the 21st Warrior out on the final play of the game to clinch the win and the Outright league title for the Lady Leopards. While most softball teams would have been celebrating, the Lady Leopards huddled in left field with business as usual attitudes. After a doubleheader Saturday against Green, the most important season begins when they host either Canton Timken or Green in a Sectional Final on the road to Firestone.
West Branch 001-010-0–2-5-5
Flanigan | 2-5 | 3B, 2 Runs
Isla | 1-4 | 2B, HBP, RBI, 2 Runs
Cozy | 2-5 | 2B, RBI, 2 Runs
Rice | 3-4 | SB, RBI, 2 Runs
Woolf | 0-1| 2 HBP
— Zifer | 0-0 | SAC Fly, RBI
Swigert | 1-4 | RBI
Monnot | 1-3 | HR, HBP, 3 RBIs, Run
Hoover | 1-4 | SB
Baumgardner | 0-3 |
— Falcone | 0-0 | BB
Records: Louisville 20-3, 12-0; West Branch 14-6, 9-3
NEXT UP: The Lady Leps will next host Green in a doubleheader on Saturday, May 5 at 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM. The JV Squad will travel to Green to play during the same time.
Louisville 4, West Branch 2
Louisville moves to 12-0 in the NBC, no further details given at this time.