No team was safe from an upset Tuesday across 4A regional softball. That included the No. 2 overall seed Ottawa, which fell to eventual regional champ and league rival Louisburg 9-7 at Orlis Cox Complex.
Among the top four seeds in the 4A East Regional, only fourth-seeded Eudora came away with a state berth.
Louisburg came in with a 6-12 record after stomping Parsons in Monday’s play-in game, and kept the offense rolling against the Lady Cyclones. In the top of the third, the Wildcats opened up scoring with an RBI double by Madison Svoboda. The team added two more runs in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead.
Knocks from Emma Stottlemire and Kristen Shaffer helped wake the OHS offense up in the next frame, and the game was tied 3-3.
“They finally made an adjustment,” Amber Dickey, OHS head softball coach, said. “We knew it was going to be slower pitching and it just took us way too long to make an adjustment.”
Louisburg answered with a solo-shot by Karson Griggs in the top of the fifth that bounced off the top of the centerfield fence and over.
The back-and-forth continued with Ottawa’s Moriah Geschwentner hitting a two-out, two-RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to give the home team its first lead, 5-4. The team looked poised to take the game when Justine Kennington belted a two-out, two-RBI inside-the-park homerun to right field in the bottom of the sixth. That made it 7-4 Cyclones.
The top of the seventh, however, unraveled quickly for OHS. With two outs and the bases-loaded, a routine ground ball was hit to shortstop Lauren Curtis that was misplayed. Ottawa argued that the Louisburg baserunner on second interfered with Curtis making the play as she was advancing to third.
“They said they didn’t see it,” Dickey said of the explanation she was given by the umpires on the play.
Two runs scored to make it 7-6, and Louisburg’s Lauren Cutshaw gave her team the lead on the next at-bat with a two-RBI knock. The Cats added one more insurance run on a hit by Svoboda and it was 9-7 LHS. Ottawa’s offense could not get a run across in the final frame.
Louisburg went on to top Chanute 6-5 in the title game, marking the lowest seed (15) to win a 4A regional on Tuesday.
Ottawa finishes a strong season 13-4, and Dickey noted there is plenty to be excited about in the future of the program.
“We see a lot of potential in the upcoming seasons which is awesome,” she said. “We have a lot of returners and a lot of young girls on the team.”