Top Memory #3 Softball’s 7th Inning Comeback at West Branch
#3 Softball’s 7th Inning Comeback at West Branch
Our story begins two days before in a game that appeared to be more science fiction than reality. Visiting Marlington pounded Louisville 17-3 in just 5 innings of play on April 21 to snap the Lady Leopards 58-game NBC winning streak. The magnitude and depth of the loss was particularly stunning as the Lady Leps had outscored the Lady Dukes 81-0 in the six games prior to that.
No matter the run differential, a conference loss is still just one loss in the standings. However, the loss setup a showdown in Beloit for the NBC lead two days later on April 23. Louisville had come from behind to defeat West Branch 7-6 in the season opener on the final day of March. The loss was the Warriors only league defeat up to that point.
On a cold, dreary evening in Mahoning County the Lady Leopards took an early 2-0 lead via Grace Jackson who hit a solo home run in the first and scored on a passed ball in the third. However, things flipped in favor of the Lady Warriors who put up a 4-spot in the bottom of the third and went up 5-2 after adding another run in the bottom of the fifth.
The game continued on into the seventh inning with the score staying the same. Things looked bleak for Louisville as a 5-2 lead seemed insurmountable with the bottom of the lineup coming to the plate. But even the smallest spark can start a wild fire.
That spark came on the second pitch of the inning when Savannah Miner was hit by a pitch. Three pitches later Peyton McKeever found grass on a bloop to right field and Miner flew to beat the throw to second. What happened next was impossibly extraordinary.
With one swing of the bat, Kylie Zifer crushed a game-tying 3-run home run to centerfield to erase 6 innings of frustration. Zifer was mobbed at the plate, the Leopards fans were in pandemonium, and the Warriors fans were stunned.
Louisville took the lead when Katie Cozy reached base on an overthrow allowing Jackson to score from second. Emily Cantley and Aliyah English drove in insurance runs after that to cap off a wild 6-run 7th inning for thee Lady Leopards.
Louisville finished off West Branch in the bottom of the inning and finished off league opposition by winning their final 6 conference games of the year. Fittingly, the Lady Leopards got redemption by clinching the NBC Outright with a 9-2 victory at Marlington on May 18. The Outright NBC Crown was their seventh straight…and counting.
Don’t forget to Subscribe to Our Posts for Free