Sluggers shut out Charlottesville

Brie Tyler fires a pitch across the plate during the Lions’ season opener against Charlottesville. Tyler and fellow pitcher Emily Gillespie combined for a perfect game, striking out 15 batters over the game's five innings.

 

The Louisa Lions baseball and softball teams got their seasons started in style, shutting out the Charlottesville Black Knights at home on April 27.

The softball team won 24-0 behind a combined perfect game from pitchers Brie Tyler and Emily Gillespie, who struck out 15 batters during the five-inning game. On offense, the Lions scored 11 runs in the opening inning, taking advantage of several wild pitches to get some early runs. Brady Shifflett, Savannah Bragg and Emily Hall all notched RBIs later in the inning to help boost the score.

Louisa continued their offensive push in the second inning, adding six more runs to their tally including a RBI triple from Olivia Chenault and a three-run homer from Bragg. The Lions added two runs in the third inning and five in the fourth, led by a grand slam from Emily Hall.

“The thing I’m most pleased with is how they adjusted at the plate,” said Coach Susan Sharpe. “Historically, Charlottesville’s pitching is the kind where kids tend to get over-anxious. As a whole we did a good job of driving the ball where it was pitched and we did a good job of being patient and adjusting the strike zone throughout the game.”

Bragg and Dara Sharpe led the offense with two hits each, while Shifflett, Hall, Gillespie, Chenault, Haley Rosson, Lilly Jordan and Brooke Vincze each had one.

The baseball team took a few innings to get things going on offense, but a solid defensive effort kept the Black Knights at bay as they picked up a 5-0 win to start the season. Lucas Cash struck out five from the mound over the first two innings, and Brent Wallace and Codey Batten combined for another five strikeouts across the remaining innings. The rest of the team locked things down behind them, giving up only two hits for the night.

“All three pitchers threw outstanding tonight,” said Coach Kevin Fisher. “Their pitch counts were down and I’m really pleased with how we played on the bump and on defense behind them.”

The Lions got on the board in the fifth inning. Wallace got on base with a walk, then advanced to second on a single from Ryan Toney. Christian Lam plated both runners with a RBI double to put the Lions up 2-0. 

They kept things moving in the sixth inning. Shane Dunkum hit a single, then Toney and Batten walked to load the bases. Lam and Alex Bradford were both hit by pitches, scoring Dunkum and Toney, and Batten rounded out the scoring on a RBI single from Sean Karney.

“That’s what I thought we might do at the plate, just because we haven’t had any scrimmages this year,” Fisher said. “Not seeing any opposing teams going into this first game, I kind of figured we’d start off like that offensively. We just have to keep pitching and playing defense and hopefully the bats will come around, and I think they will.”

The Lions had five hits throughout the game, with Cash, Toney, Lam, Karney and Dunkum tallying one hit each.

Both teams travel to Orange County High School on April 29 to take on the Hornets and return home to host the Monticello Mustangs on May 6. Softball begins at 6 p.m. both nights and baseball plays at 6:30.

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