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Spring Hill 17, Louisburg 2

The Louisburg High School softball team took its home field for the final time Monday when it hosted Spring Hill in a doubleheader.

The two games didn’t turn out like the Lady Cats had hoped as they fell to the defending Class 4A-Division I state champion, 17-2, in the opener and then, 17-7, in the nightcap. It was also Senior Night for the Lady Cats as they honored their lone senior, Skylar Keaton, in between games.

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“Spring Hill came in and made a statement early with their hitting,” Louisburg coach John Ozier said. “Game one got away from us early and we never recovered.

“Game two was a much different story. We came out and took an early lead. The girls battled hard until the sixth, when we got sloppy with our defense and lost our composure. We had plenty of scoring opportunities, including a bases loaded situation with no out, but came up empty time and time again.”

In the opener, the Lady Cats took an early 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Kayla Willey singled to bring home Molly Rison, and two batters later, Reilly Ratliff-Becher singled home Willey to give Louisburg the lead.

Spring Hill’s offense came to life as the Broncos scored four runs each in the next two innings and then had an 8-run fifth inning to break the game open. Regan Smith and Paige Cooper each had a home run for Spring Hill and Smith led the team with 5 RBIs to go along with a pair of doubles.

Louisburg senior Skylar Keaton was honored in-between games Monday during a Senior Night ceremony. Standing next Skylar are her parents Courtney and Miles Keaton.

Rison led the Louisburg offense with three hits, including a double, while Ratliff-Becher finished the game with two singles.

The Lady Cats (3-17) were able to stay with the Broncos through five innings in the second game. Louisburg took a 3-0 lead into the third inning, before Spring Hill responded with four runs.

Louisburg took the lead right back with two runs in the bottom of the third, and after trailing again, tied the game with a run in the fourth. Spring Hill, however, scored six runs in the sixth and five more in the seventh to secure the sweep.

Sophomore Shayla Meyer had two hits to lead the Lady Cat attack, while freshman Alyse Moore had a 2-run double and Rison also had a single that scored two runs. Karson Griggs, Brooklyn Diederich and Paige Eccher also had RBIs for Louisburg. Ratliff-Becher and Maddie Svoboda each had a double as well.

The Lady Cats will enter postseason play this Monday when they travel to Ottawa for the Class 4A regional tournament. Louisburg, which is the No. 4 seed, will square off with No. 1 Paola at 3 p.m.