Benson Ties Home Run Record as Louisville Outslugs Minerva 13-6 – Softball
Louisville 13, Minerva 6
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The Louisville Leopards Varsity Softball defeated the visiting Minerva Lions 13-6 Monday Evening at West Main Vet Clinic Field. With the victory, Louisville improves to 10-12 on the season.
Benson Ties Single Season Home Run Record
Sophomore shortstop Matti Benson went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, and scored four runs to lead the Lady Leopards. In her last at-bat of the day, Benson cranked a solo home run over the right field fence to put Louisville ahead 13-5.
The home run was Benson’s 11th of the season tying her with Grace Jackson (2015) and Kaycee Ollis (2019) for the single season Lady Leopards Softball record. Benson is the youngest and fastest to reach the 11 home run record mark. Jackson hit her 11th during the 25th game of her junior season. Ollis cranked her 11th during the 30th game of her senior season in Louisville’s unforgettable 4-2 DI State Semifinal win against Elyria. In comparison, Benson has now reached 11 home runs in 21 games played. Both Benson and Jackson hit all of their homer runs in the regular season, while Ollis cleared the fences three times in the Lady Leopards 2019 postseason and state championship run.
Louisville Builds 10-0 Lead on Minerva Errors
Earlier in the game the Lady Leopards built a 10-0 advantage through four innings of play. They scored four runs in the first two innings and added two more runs in the fourth inning while taking advantage of five Minerva errors.
Louisville managed to score all of their runs with two outs in the opening inning. Senior Brooke Brendle reached on an error scoring sophomore third baseman Kenzi Denzer and Benson. Two batters later, senior right fielder Stevie Barrett singled home Brendle to make it 3-0. Sophomore center fielder Brooke Haren also scored in the frame to give the Lady Leopards a commanding 4-0 advantage at the end of one.
Denzer doubled to start the second inning and later scored on a passed ball. Benson followed with a single and then beat the throw home on a fielder’s choice. Haren was credited with the RBI on the play and the bases remained loaded. Barrett came to the plate next and after working a full count was hit by a pitch to plate junior second baseman Shelby Mayle from third. Two batters later, sophomore pitcher Katie Heath drew a bases loaded walk scoring courtesy runner Paige Folk to increase the Louisville lead to 8-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, freshman left fielder Matti Adams reached on an error scoring Brendle. Adams stole second on the next pitch and Haren stole home plate on the same pitch to up the Leopard lead to double digits at 10-0.
Lions Chop Leopard Lead in Half with 5-Run Fifth
The Lions got back in the game with a five-run fifth inning. Left fielder Lanie Cowden, shortstop Lydia Brunner, center fielder Alyssa Risden, and pitcher Jada Shafer hit four consecutive RBI singles in a row to trim the Minerva deficit to 10-4. Then the Lions chopped the Leopard lead in half when catcher Alaina Jackson drove in Risden in the next at-bat.
That would be as close as Minerva would get as their only other run would come in the top of the seventh. Cowden was hit by a pitch to start the frame and she eventually came home via Shafer’s sacrifice fly to right field making the score 13-6.
Heath Strikes Out 5 In Victory
Louisville got two runs back in the fifth before Benson’s home run in the sixth. Haren cracked a two-out, two-run single to right field that brought Benson and Mayle to the plate to make it 12-5.
Heath pitched every inning except the fifth frame. She tossed six innings, gave up one run on one hit, and struck out five to earn the victory in the circle. The victory is Heath’s fifth of the season, which ties her with junior pitcher Kendra Thomas for the team lead in wins.
Louisville Wins 21st Straight Over Minerva
The Lady Leopards have now defeated the Lady Lions in 21 straight meetings dating back to 2009. Louisville has also won their last 11 games against Minerva when playing at home. The Lady Leopards are now lead the all-time series 45-10 over the Lady Lions which includes a 23-5 record when playing at home in the series.
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This was Louisville’s final scheduled home game as they finish 8-6 at West Main Vet Clinic Field for the season.
UP NEXT: The #17 seed Lady Leopards will travel to take on the #13 seed Warren Howland Tigers in the DI Austintown Sectional Finals on Wednesday, May 11. Game time is set for 5:00 PM from Howland Township Park.
Cover Photo By The Louisville Herald
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Minerva at Louisville Softball Box Score
LEOPARDS 13, LIONS 6
MINERVA LIONS SOFTBALL BATTING STATS
MINERVA LIONS SOFTBALL PITCHING STATS
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS SOFTBALL BATTING STATS
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS SOFTBALL PITCHING STATS
Records: Louisville 10-12