Since 2009, at least one local Catholic school has won a CIF-Southern Section divisional softball championship each year. In 2019, it’s Louisville of Woodland Hills with the chance to continue the streak.

On May 14, the eighth-seeded Royals blanked third-seeded Whittier Christian 3-0 in the semifinals, earning the right to play top-seeded Torrance (23-9) on May 18, 3:30 p.m., for the Division 5 title. Louisville — who lost in the 2016 D-5 final — was bolstered by Grace Luderer’s 10-strikeout, one-hit pitching and a three-run sixth featuring a go-ahead basehit from senior Nicole Norman.

Coached by Jason Cohen, Louisville (15-9 overall) finished second in the Sunshine League to Flintridge-Sacred Heart, the last team to beat the Royals on April 4. Since then Louisville has won ten straight games, six by shutout including three of its four playoff games (the other being a 12-4 rout).

The other all-girls Catholic school playing in Tuesday’s semifinals came up just short. Third-seeded Mayfield of Pasadena came close but ultimately lost to Westridge 6-4 in a Division 7 semifinal. The Cubs ended their season 13-9.

Over the last ten seasons, Catholic school divisional champions have included Marymount (D-6, 2009), Santa Margarita (D-1, 2010), La Salle (D-6, 2010), Pomona Catholic (D-7, 2011 and 2012), Bell-Jeff (D-6, 2013), St. Paul (D-3, 2014), St. Bonaventure (D-6, 2014, and D-5, 2015), Paraclete (D-6, 2015 and 2016), Mater Dei (D-1, 2016), St. Anthony (D-6, 2017), Chaminade (D-5, 2018) and Serra (D-7, 2018).

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!