On Thursday, the Louisa County softball team traveled for a big matchup against their rival Fluvanna Flucos in a game between two of the top teams in the Jefferson District.
The matchup delivered with a hotly contested clash throughout and with the Lions making just enough plays to go with some clutch pitching and timely hitting that helped lead them to the 4-3 victory.
The game began with the makings of a true pitchers’ duel, with Maddox Pleasants of the Lions and Harley Kirby of the Flucos both throwing three scoreless innings to start the game.
Then in the top of the fourth inning, the Lions began to get going at the plate. Emma McGehee came up big with a two-RBI triple and Lydia Gillespie had an RBI single to give the Lions a 3-0 lead in the fourth. Gillespie ended the night going 1 for 3 with that RBI single, and McGehee went 1 for 3 with the two-RBI triple and a run scored.
But then the Flucos started to come back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth off an RBI groundout from Sydney Gibson and a solo home run from Makayla Gentry. Then in the fifth, the Flucos tied it up at 3 from an RBI bunt single from Madeline Schmidt. Schmidt would end the night going 2 for 4 with an RBI, Gentry went 1 for 3 with a home run, and Gibson went 1 for 3 with an RBI.
The Flucos had some momentum going in the fifth, but then the Lions brought in Emily Gillespie into the circle, and she promptly shut the door to keep the game tied at three. She pitched two and two-thirds innings of relief and had five strikeouts without giving up a run.
“Maddox gave us a great game on the mound tonight, and we knew that Emily was going to be there if we needed her, and she was huge for us in relief tonight,” said Louisa coach Susan Sharpe.
Then in the top of the seventh, the Lions found one more huge moment to put themselves out in front for good. Down to her last strike, Pleasants came up with an RBI single to give her team a 4-3 lead and proved to be the game-winning run. Pleasants ended the game going 3 for 4 with a steal, a run scored and the big go-ahead RBI.
“I usually don’t swing at the first pitch, it’s just a mental thing, but then the second strike was right down the middle and I was thinking to myself, “why didn’t you swing at that pitch?”,” said Pleasants. “But then I thought there’s a reason you didn’t swing at that pitch and the next pitch I cranked it.”
Up next the Lions will host Monticello on Tuesday, while the Flucos will look to regroup on Tuesday as they travel to Goochland.