By Doug Ponton
All roads must eventually come to an end and Louisa’s long season’s journey did just that this past week as the Lady Lions fell in the first round of the Jefferson District tournament to a determined Fluvanna squad 2-0. Louisa earned innumerable amounts of respect with their individual and collective “true grit” as the Lady Lions culminated their year with a 14-5/9-1 record as Co-Champions (along with Powhatan) of the Jefferson District regular season.
“I am extremely proud of my girls. We had high hopes and expectations coming into the season and I don’t think anyone, except us, expected us to be where we ended up. I’ll take my girls against any team anytime, anywhere, but two good teams went to battle tonight and we just came up at the short end of the stick. Hats off to Fluvanna, they played good defense and were well coached and they got the one big hit in the game. In a two to zero ballgame, it doesn’t take too many big hits to win,” said Louisa Head Coach Dan Barrett.
The cliché of a pitchers dual throughout the majority of the contest, both Louisa’s Katie Harlow and the Lady Fluco’s Alexis Scott, maneuvered and manipulated their respective opposites over and over again until Fluvanna finally broke through in the sixth inning.
A seeing-eye single through the left side of the Louisa infield by Lady Fluco Lizzie Kidd, coupled with an uncharacteristic late-game error, made for runners being placed into prime scoring position. A well positioned smack over the Louisa left-fielder’s head from Scott plated the only two runs Fluvanna would need on the evening to advance to the championship game.
“We came out with more confidence than we have had in quite a long time and, I think, our girls just wanted it more. In games like this when it’s a pitcher’s match, every hit is crucial and ours came at the right time,” Fluvanna Head Coach Amie McCall said.
Providing solid skills throughout the night, Harlow hurled Louisa well into position, holding the surprising Lady Flucos scoreless until the decisive sixth stanza. Harlow struck out four Fluvanna batters while scattering eight hits and walking only one hitter for the evening.
“She (Katie Harlow) only found out about 2:30 this afternoon that she was going to be in the circle tonight, so I thought Katie pitched a phenomenal game for us, giving up only two runs. If you give up only two runs, you should be in any ball game,” said Barrett.
Senior Kate Chisholm went 2 for 3 with a double, while Harlow was perfect at the plate going 1 for 1 with two walks. Classmate Lindsey Talley contributed a pair of hits as freshman Sarah Sharpe manufactured a single.
“It will be hard to see my three seniors move on because I’ve been coaching them for five years now and I’ve never written a lineup card without their names on it,” said Barrett.