Lewisville suffered back-to-back losses Friday to Dixie, leading a disappointing end to the Lions’ season.
Delanie Laudenbacher struck out 10 and gave up only two hits and a walk to lead Dixie to a 1-0 win over the Lewisville for the 1A Upper State championship.
The Hornets had to come to Richburg and defeat Lewisville twice after the Lions beat them 2-0 last week. They won the first game Friday night 3-2. In three games, they each scored four runs. It is the fifth consecutive season that Dixie has eliminated Lewisville from the Upper State playoffs.
"We should've gotten out of here with that first game," Lewisville coach Jerry Thomas said. "Second game was the first time all year we didn't bring the bats. I thought we were loose, but I felt like some of the nerves came back. They've got a lot of tradition to fall back on."
In Game 1, the Lions paid for a shaky first inning and fell to the Hornets 3-2.
This was the first game Lewisville had been scored on in the 2017 playoffs and it was the Lions’ first loss against 1A competition.
Two hits and a sacrifice bunt resulted in a quick 1-0 lead for the Hornets in the first inning, but a two-out throwing error by the shortstop prolonged the inning and allowed two more runs to score when the ball sailed over first base.
Six of seven leadoff hitters reached base for Dixie, but three were by errors.
Lewisville’s Thomas allowed only four hits and one walk, while striking out four. The Lions committed three errors.
Dixie’s Laudenbacher struck out eight and allowed seven hits and one walk.
Lewisville strung together four straight hits in the fifth and scored two runs. Ivy McCall started it with a one-out single to right. Horne's double to the fence in left-center scored pinch-runner Hannah McCallister from first. Abby Thomas, who was 2-for-4, singled Horne in.
In the Dixie sixth of the second game, Kathryn Ware led with a base hit off of Chloe Thomas' glove. Codi Horne, at shortstop, tried to make a play on the ricochet, but threw it over the first baseman's head to allow Ware to go to second. After a sacrifice bunt by Ashleigh Burton got Ware to third, a groundout to Horne brought her in for the one and deciding run.
Dixie did not get a hit until the sixth inning.
In the Lewisville sixth of Game 2, McCall's one-out fly ball was dropped in right field. Horne followed by beating out an infield hit to second base, but pinch-runner McCallister was gunned down trying to go to third. Horne was then thrown out trying to steal second to end the threat.
"I had to put pressure on the defense to try to generate something," Thomas said. "Those two outs were on me. I was probably over-aggressive."
In the first inning, Horne was on second with one out when Thomas hit a sinking liner to center. It looked like it would fall and score Horne, but Alex Taylor made a running shoestring catch and doubled off Horne at second to end the inning.
Thomas only allowed one run on three hits while walking none and striking out five. In the two games, she pitched 14 innings and allowed seven hits, two walks, and two earned runs, while striking out nine.
"We hadn't hardly pitched her over five innings all year," Thomas said. "For her to go 14 says a lot about her. Our girls wanted to be the first to win it and my heart breaks for them."
Laudenbacher pitched 14 and gave up nine hits, two runs, two walks, and struck out 18. Horne was 2-for-3 at the plate for Lewisville.
Dixie 1 Lewisville 0
Chloe Thomas. Delanie Laudenbacher. WP - Laudenbacher. LP - Thomas. Leading hitters: Lew - Codi Horne 2-3. Dix - Kathryn Ware 1-2. Record - Lewisville 23-4.