After bunting, hitting singles and walking their way to a 12-1 victory over the Dawson Lady Bulldogs to open the season, the Lady Gladiators charged out to 1-0 start to their district campaign.
A triple by Alyssa Richards and a near homer by Courtney Westbrook, who tried to stretch a triple into a homerun but was thrown out at the plate, highlighted the opening game.
Looking to keep their momentum going on Thursday, the Lady Gladiators traveled to Hubbard to take on the Lady Jaguars. The last meeting between these two teams, in Hubbard last season, resulted in a Lady Gladiator win that catapulted Italy into the playoffs.
With a strong wind blowing sand in the faces of the Lady Gladiators, Hubbard struck the first blows in the bottom of the 4th with one hit after another taking a 3-0 lead. In the top of the 5th, Italy fired back as Alyssa Richards lead off with a single followed by her sister, Megan Richards, who hit her way on to first base after an overthrow by Hubbard’s defense. Both players eventually crossed home plate to keep the Gladiators within reach, 3-2.
Italy’s defense held Hubbard scoreless in the bottom of the 5th setting up a potential lead change. Italy’s Anna Viers started off the top of the 6th with a single and then stole second base. At the plate, Italy was connecting with the ball but the pop-ups were handled by Hubbard’s outfielders. Viers was left stranded at third base and the score remained 3-2 going into the bottom of the 6th inning.
Once again, Hubbard’s hitters heated up and smacked scorchers past Italy’s infielders. A line drive over second base and a straight shot past the pitchers mound both rolled to the outfield fences accounting for one score and an infield error by Italy gave Hubbard another as the lady Jaguars increased their lead 5-2.
Italy got out of the inning but found themselves in a must tie situation in the top of the 7th in order to extend the game. Unfortunately, Italy was unable to spark a rally and the Lady Jaguars got their revenge with a 5-2 win over the Lady Gladiators who are now 1-1 in District play.
After the disappointing loss, Leo Garza said, “This Hubbard sand is leaving a bad taste in my mouth.”
Italy’s confident Head Coach Jennifer Reeves has no doubt the Lady Gladiators can right their chariots and get back on a roll. “We got behind and we got down on ourselves. The good news is, that’s easy to fix,” stated Reeves.