Waxahachie, Texas — On Saturday morning, the Lady Gladiators pulled out a come from behind win against the 2A Maypearl Lady Panthers, 7-6.
In a scary moment for Lady Gladiator fans, Italy pitcher Courtney Westbrook was wounded in the battle when a Maypearl batter hit a straight shot back to the mound catching Westbrook on her throwing hand.
Westbrook shook off the injury and competed in Italy’s final game of the tournament against the 2A Palmer Lady Bulldogs. Already nursing other aches and pains, head coach Jennifer Reeves decided to relieve Westbrook from her pitching duties against Palmer.
Answering the call was pitcher Megan Richards who had just played in the Area Championship basketball game for the Lady Gladiators the night before. Like a true warrior, Richards took the mound and looked impressive in her first start of the season.
Sister Alyssa Richards, who also played in the basketball game the night before, got in her first reps as catcher on Saturday as well for the Lady Gladiators.
With a large crowd gathered to witness the rivalry game, Palmer held a 5-3 lead as they took the field in the top of the 7th inning. In an effort to rally the Lady Gladiator hitters, Italy’s dugout put their rally helmets on and began chanting.
The instant mojo worked and Italy batted their way back in front thanks to a 2-run shot by M. Richards that carried into right field giving Italy a 6-5 lead. Italy added another run to go up 7-5 before Palmer made the 3rd out.
With Palmer set to take their last at bat, Italy’s defense had the task of preserving yet another Lady Gladiator comeback in the bottom of the 7th. However, Palmer had desires of a comeback of their own and a quick Lady Bulldog score made the game 7-6.
Then, with two runners on base, Palmer’s next at bat produced a 3-run homerun after the ball sailed over the fence in center field, winning the game for the Lady Bulldogs 9-7. The Lady Gladiators were just two outs away from winning all 6 games during the three day tournament.
And it was an exciting three days of Lady Gladiator Softball leaving Italy’s coaches, players and fans with much to smile about going into next week.