Louisville Suffers 1st Loss in Battle of Undefeated at West Branch – Softball
West Branch 10, Louisville 9
The Louisville Leopards Varsity Softball Team suffered their first defeat of the season in a heart-breaking 10-9 loss against the host West Branch Warriors Monday Evening at WBHS. With the loss, Louisville falls to 11-1 overall and 4-1 in the NBC.
Teagan Rice cracked a pair of 2-run singles to lead the Leopards at the plate. Rice hit a 2-out single on a hard ground ball to center scoring Rylie Squire and Lexi Zavarelle to give Louisville their first lead of the game in the top of the second. Rice proved clutch again in the top of the seventh delivering a 2-out single to left scoring Lauren Bennett from third and Zavarelle from second. That hit flipped the script for the Leopards as they scored 4 runs in the top of the seventh to turn a 7-5 deficit into a 9-7 lead.
The wheels came off in the home half of the final inning. Hannah Sprague started the Warrior seventh with a single to center. After a fly out, Grace Heath hit her fourth single of the game to put runners on first and second. Kylie Coffelt next delivered an RBI double to trim the Leopard lead to 9-8.
With the winning run on second, Louisville elected to walk cleanup hitter Kelsey Byers. Delaney Rito was up next and she hit a 2-2 pitch to right field. Zavarelle made the second out and rocketed the ball home, but the speedy Heath slid past the sweeping tag of Leopards Catcher Kaycee Ollis to tie the game at 9-9.
As darkness closed in on the village of Beloit, Peyton Alazaus delivered a pop fly to shallow left field. The ball seemed to be perfectly placed in the narrowest of gaps between the Leopards fielders. As a result, it found its intended target within the outfield grass. Warrior Nation commenced into pandemonium as West Branch improved to 12-0 overall and now takes sole possession of first place in the NBC at 6-0. Louisville’s best undefeated streak to start the season ends at 11.
The wild ride between the bitter NBC Softball rivals took a combined 291 pitches and produced 31 hits for 19 runs with a steady wind blowing out to left. Sydney McKeever and Ellie Jackson finished with multi-hit games for the Leopards. Sarah Cantley also belted an RBI double and both Jackson and Zavarelle tallied RBIs as well.
Seven different Warriors finished with multiple hits in the game. Heath led West Branch by batting 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, 3 RBIs, and 2 Runs scored. Byers went 3-for-4 with a double and 2 RBIs and Jordan Anderson also had 3 hits. Coffelt finished with a pair of doubles and Destany Blake, Mesler, and Sprague all contributed with two hits each.
Donate to Leopard Nation
UP NEXT: The Louisville Leopards Softball Team will next host the Canton South Wildcats on Tuesday, April 24 at 5:00 PM.
VARSITY SOFTBALL BOX SCORE
WARRIORS 10, LEOPARDS 9
West Branch 101-320-3–10-20-4
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS SOFTBALL VARSITY BATTING STATS
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS SOFTBALL VARSITY PITCHING STATS
WEST BRANCH WARRIORS SOFTBALL VARSITY BATTING STATS
WEST BRANCH WARRIORS SOFTBALL VARSITY PITCHING STATS
Records: West Branch 12-0, 6-0; Louisville 11-1, 4-1