With timely hitting and clutch pitching, Louisville High School captured its first-ever CIF-Southern Section softball championship May 18 with a 5-1 upset win over top-seeded Torrance at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.

The Royals’ Division 5 championship was accomplished with wins over the top three seeds in the D-5 bracket, all featuring the arm of sophomore Grace Luderer who threw her fifth complete game of the playoffs. She allowed just two hits, a third-inning run, struck out nine, and overcame five walks and two hit batters by pitching out of trouble when necessary.

Offensively, the Royals (16-9-2) battled back from their 1-0 deficit with four runs inn the fifth and another in the sixth. Keona Miller drove in the first run and Nicole Norman the go-ahead run on a two-out single, coming around to score with her sister Natalie on a throwing error. Nicole then hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth to drive in an insurance tally.

Under head coach Jason Cohen, Louisville finished 16-9-2, winning their last 11 straight. With their win, the Royals — who lost in the 2016 D-5 final — continue a streak in which at least one local Catholic school has won a CIF-Southern Section divisional softball championship each year since 2009.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News). 

Start your day with Always Forward, our award-winning e-newsletter. Get this smart, handpicked selection of the day’s top news, analysis, and opinion, delivered to your inbox. Sign up absolutely free today!