Louisville Blanked by Top Seed Austintown Fitch 6-0 in District Semifinal – Softball
#1 Austintown Fitch 6, #17 Louisville 0
The #17 seed Louisville Leopards Varsity Softball team was shutout by the host #1 seed Austintown Fitch Falcons late Monday afternoon at the Austintown Fitch Softball Complex. With the loss, Louisville finishes the season with a record of 12-13.
Leopards Break Up Perfect Game In 4th
Sophomore shortstop Matti Benson and senior first baseman Jenna Collins hit back-to-back one-out singles in the top of the fourth to break up Falcons freshman starting pitcher Sydnie Watts’ perfect game bid. Benson and Collins executed a successful double steal on the next pitch to put both runners into scoring position.
However, Watts struck out the next batter and got the following hitter to ground out to the shortstop to end the frame. Sophomore shortstop Ayla Ray’s throw to senior first baseman Maddy Taylor came just in time to end the frame.
Watts Fans 17 in 3-Hit Shutout
Watts mowed down the entire Leopard lineup and started the game with ten consecutive strikeouts overall. After surrendering a pair of Louisville hits in the fourth, Watts retired 11 of the final 12 Leopard batters she faced. Junior second baseman Shelby Mayle hit a line drive base hit to center field in the seventh inning to become the only Louisville baserunner in the final three innings.
Watts struck out the side in four different innings and retired the side in order in five separate frames. In a complete game effort Watts struck out 17 batters, which included 13 strikeouts swinging. The 17 strikeouts against the Lady Leopards is the known team record eclipsing Warren Champion’s Allison Smith who fanned 16 LHS batters in a 2-1 Flashes win at Louisville in 2019.
Taylor Goes 3-for-3 to Power Falcons
Taylor finished a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a solo home run, an RBI double, and an RBI single to lead Austintown Fitch. Taylor doubled home senior center fielder Samantha Aey in the bottom of the first and then knocked her home again on an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth. Aey led off the fifth inning with a triple in the at-bat before.
Four of the Falcons six runs came with two outs. Junior second baseman Caitlin Mitchell’s sacrifice fly in the opening inning scored Taylor with two outs to put Fitch ahead 2-0. After two quick fly outs in the third, Taylor and Watts hit back-to-back solo shots over the right field fence to make it 4-0. Later in the fourth inning, senior right fielder Alison Foley cracked a two-out double bringing home sophomore left fielder Bella Tofil from second to extend the Austintown lead to 5-0.
The Lady Falcons out-hit the Lady Leopards 8-3 for the contest. Watts also had a multi-hit performance going 2-for-3 at the dish.
Louisville Vs. Fitch Softball Series
The Falcons are the first non-Federal League team to knock out the Lady Leopards since 2007 when Louisville was edged by Massillon 6-5.
The Lady Leopards are now 43-36 all-time in the postseason, which includes an 11-17 record in road tournament games. Louisville is now 30-25 all-time in Division I tournament games, 6-17 in district semifinal postseason games, and 3-9 in Division I district semifinal games in their history.
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Louisville at Austintown Fitch Softball Box Score
FALCONS 6, LEOPARDS 0
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS SOFTBALL BATTING STATS
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS SOFTBALL PITCHING STATS
FITCH FALCONS SOFTBALL BATTING STATS
FITCH FALCONS SOFTBALL PITCHING STATS
Records: Austintown Fitch 21-2, Louisville 12-13