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Double shutouts win 1st semistate for Leo

Lindsey Bowers felt a pain in her back. Ice was applied as the Leo pitcher prepared to return to the mound hours later.

With a trip to the Class 3A state championship on the line, Bowers pitched back-to-back shutouts Saturday, 3-0 over Hanover Central and 6-0 over Yorktown.

The Lions softball team secured what coach Ben Shappell believed to be the first semistate title in school history in a sport sanctioned by the IHSAA.

It had been a year since Bowers threw 14 innings in a day, but she bounced back from a 69-pitch outing in the afternoon to fire 67 in the nightcap.

“I’m very proud of her,” Shappel said. “She went 136 pitches total. She relaxed and was able to pitch the second game. It helped that it cooled down.”

Morgan Finton drove in a run in the second before Leo scored twice in the fourth on an RBI double by Bowers and an RBI single by Abbie Heischman.

Finton picked up another RBI in the sixth. Heischman and Madeline MacDonald each added an RBI single in the inning.

Bowers did not strike out a batter and allowed three hits.

“She did a great job hitting her spots,” Shappell said. “Our defense played great behind her.”

Leo, which has one senior, had lost four of five entering sectionals.

“I didn’t know if they were going to be ready,” Shappell said. “This team has really come together these last three weeks. It’s been great to see young kids step up around our pitcher.”