Lions build momentum in district

Emily Gillespie winds up for a pitch during Louisa’s home game against Monticello on May 6. Gillespie and senior Brie Tyler combined to strike out 10 batters during the game.

 

The Louisa Lions softball team picked up a pair of big district wins this week, defeating the Monticello Mustangs 11-1 at home and beating Western Albemarle 13-1 on the road.

Louisa hosted Monticello for their senior night game on May 6. It took a few innings for things to get going, with the Mustangs getting on the board in the top of the fourth with their lone run. In the bottom of the inning, senior Brie Tyler knocked one out of the park for a solo home run to tie the game and get things moving.

“I was thinking I needed to stay back, wait on the ball, let it get deep and then throw my hands to it,” Tyler said. “As soon as I did that, I got the results.”

That home run turned out to be the catalyst for the Lions. Emily Hall got on base with a single, then advanced to third on a double from Haley Rosson. Jerri Shull plated Hall, and Brady Shifflett notched a pair of RBIs, scoring Rosson and Shull to boost Louisa to a 4-1 lead by the end of the inning.

“Until Brie’s home run, I think we were getting a little frustrated,” said Coach Susan Sharpe. “We weren’t making the adjustments we needed to at the plate. That homer was a momentum changer. We started stringing things together after that.”

The momentum continued through the remaining innings. Rosson tallied another pair of RBIs in the fifth, plating Dara Sharpe and Savannah Bragg on a sacrifice fly to boost the Lions to 6-1. The runs continued to come in the sixth. Shull reached first on an error, advanced to second after Shifflett was hit by a pitch, then Olivia Chenault tallied a single to load the bases. Sharpe plated Shull with a single, then Bragg knocked the ball over the left field fence for a grand slam, her second home run of the season, to win the game.

“She’s got quick hands,” Coach Sharpe said. “She’s a smart batter and she’s very versatile. She hit a couple shots out to centerfield and laid down a bunt in the five-six hole [in the fifth].”

Prior to the game, the team honored their seven senior players: Chenault, Hall, Rosson, Shifflett, Shull, Tyler and Brooke Vincze.

“I’m excited for them, especially since we started off a little slow,” Sharpe said. “It was good to see them come up with a big win on their senior night.”

Dara Sharpe and Bragg each had two hits, while Tyler, Rosson, Shull and Chenault each added one. In the circle, Tyler and Emily Gillespie combined for 10 strikeouts and gave up one hit and walked one batter.

The Lions carried their momentum into their game against the Western Albemarle Warriors on May 10.

Dara Sharpe notched a double to get the action going in the first inning, and was then batted in by Hall to get the Lions on the board. Bragg plated Shifflett and Vincze in the second inning, extending the Lions’ lead to 3-0, then scored on a RBI single from Sharpe. Tyler rounded out the scoring that inning, crossing the plate on an RBI from Hall.  

Bragg and Sharpe each scored again in the third, and Vincze plated Maddox Pleasants in the fourth before she and Emma McGehee were both batted in by Chenault, making the score 11-0. The Warriors got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, then Gillespie and Hall crossed the plate in the fifth to round out the scoring.

“The girls played really well,” Coach Sharpe said. “They learned from each other’s at-bats and did a great job of making adjustments. Brie and Emily were very dominant in the circle. I love games where we are able to get everyone good playing time. All of these kids work so hard at practice and it’s nice when everyone gets game time.”

The Lions totaled 15 hits throughout the night. Dara Sharpe led the team with three, followed by Bragg, Hall and Vincze with two each. Gillespie, Tyler, Pleasants, Shifflett, McGehee and Chenault each added one. In the circle, Tyler and Gillespie combined for 11 strikeouts.

The Lions hit the road again on May 13, to Fluvanna County High School to take on the Flucos. Action begins at 6 p.m.

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