Lorena swings for the close on senior night, beats Whitney, 10-2 | High school

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LORENA – The Lorena Lady Leopards softball team had a blast on senior night.

A few actually.

Lorena senior pitcher Kate Houser hit a grand slam on her last home at bat and went the distance in the circle, helping the Lady Leopards upset Whitney, 10-2, Thursday night at Lorena Softball Field Highschool.

Houser also struck out 11 and held the Lady Wildcats to seven hits, helping Lorena improve to 18-4 this season and 9-2 in the 17-3A district.

By beating Whitney at the Lady Wildcats home court on Wednesday night and finishing the district sweep at Lorena on Thursday, the Lady Leopards followed Troy to the top of the standings 17-3A. Lorena ends the regular season at Clifton on Tuesday.

“There are no games where you show up and win in this district,” Lorena coach Steve Dolezel said. “You have to give your best every night, so winning those two was important for us.”

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Houser’s grand slam on the wall at center right was the final touch to Lorena’s victory.

But perhaps the biggest explosion of the night came from senior first baseman Alexis Nava.

With Jaylynn El Far leading late in the third, Nava broke a scoreless tie by breaking a left drive line. The shot went hastily over the wall and gave the Lady Leopards the first 2-0 lead.

“That one got us going,” Dolezel said.

Whitney cut the lead to a single run in the top of the fourth, but Lorena continued to bat in her half.

Lady Leopard third baseman Kalli Benton singled down the left side and Madisyn Taylor followed with a single down the middle to spark a rally. Lorena 9-hole hitter Izzy Bradford kicked off a run with a shot that eluded Whitney first baseman Jaycee Green. El Far followed with a groundout to second base that scored another run and increased Lorena’s lead to 5-1.

El Far drove one more in the bottom of the sixth and Nava followed with a left single to charge the bases and set up Houser’s slam.

Lorena and Troy have split their District series, so if they end up tied atop the District standings, they could be heading to a title playoff at the end of next week.

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