Lady Gladiators work as a team to outscore Mildred 7-3

Image: All in a games work — The Lady Gladiators piece together a 7-3 victory over the Mildred Lady Eagles on Saturday in Italy.

All in a games work — The Lady Gladiators piece together a 7-3 victory over the Mildred Lady Eagles on Saturday in Italy. (Barry Byers)

Italy Head Softball Coach Jennifer Reeves utilized two pitchers, Courtney Westbrook and Megan Richards, to keep Mildred’s hitters off balance in this one. The strategy worked and the Lady Gladiators pulled out another win in front of their home fans on Saturday.

Top of 1st:
Mildred pops out to Anna Viers at shortstop but walk to first base during their next at bat. Megan Richards strikes out the next two Mildred hitters to sit the Lady Eagles down.

Bottom of 1st:
Courtney Westbrook uses her head and takes a softball hard to the facemask, earning a trip to first base. Next up, Drew Windham gets walked. With Westbrook at third and Windham at second, Italy flies out. Alyssa Richards cranks a double to score Westbrook and Windham, 2-0 Italy leads.

Viers bunts to advance Alyssa Richards to third with Viers being called out on the play. Moments later, Alyssa Richards slides home to make the score 3-0. Italy flies out to end the inning.

Top of 2nd:
Mildred starts off with a single. Mildred dinks a grounder and Italy’s Second Baseman Cori Jeffords covers first base for the out. With the Mildred runner on second, Megan Richards strikes out the next two Lady Eagle batters, still a 3-0 Italy lead.

Bottom of 2nd:
Italy’s first batter strikes out. Italy’s second batter hits to Mildred’s shortstop and gets thrown out at first base. Italy strikes out again as Mildred gets three up, three down.

Top of 3rd:
Westbrook replaces Megan Richards at the mound for Italy and starts off with a strikeout. Mildred lines one straight into the mitt of Italy’s Jeffords at second base for out number two. Mildred hits and beats the throw to first base for a single. Mildred then doubles to left field to score the runner, 3-1 Italy still in front. Mildred singles to score the runner from second, 3-2 Italy.

Mildred’s runner on first base steals and collides with Viers who is covering second base. With the ball jarred loose, the injured Lady Eagle crawls to second. Time is called to check the Mildred runner. The next Mildred batter gets walked to put runners on first and second. Westbrook strikes out the next batter to get Italy off the field, Italy now clings to a 3-2 lead.

Bottom of the 3rd:
The first two batter’s for Italy hit only to be thrown out at first. Megan Richards walks but Viers line drives a shot straight to the Mildred third baseman for the 3rd out. Italy is unable to add to their 3-2 lead.

Top of 4th:
Mildred pops one over first base but Jeffords hustles over from second base to make an over the head catch for the 1st out. Westbrook strikes out the next two Mildred batters as Italy gets three up and sits three down.

Bottom of 4th:
Italy’s first batter strikes out but Jeffords gets walked to first and then steals second base. Italy strikes out again but Paola Mata gets walked to first. Unfortunately, the Lady Gladiators hit into their 3rd out as the score remains 3-2 in Italy’s favor.

Top of 5th:
Mildred quickly ties the game 3-3 and has two runners on base before grounding out to first. Westbrook strikes out two batters in a row to get Italy off the field.

Bottom of the 5th:
Windham drops a ball into left field for a single. Megan Richards bunts and advances Windham all the way to 3rd, Italy is left with one out. Alyssa Richards singles to score Windham, Italy’s back in front 4-3. Viers doubles to score Alyssa Richards from third, 5-3 Italy. Viers steals second and third. Meredith Brummett gets walked. Jeffords pops one up to the outfield but earns an RBI as Viers tagged up and scored form 3rd, 6-3 Italy in control but with two outs showing on the board. Italy’s next batter flies out leaving Brummett stranded at first.

Top of 6th
Megan Richards returns to the mound. Mildred is unable to adjust to the pitching change and fails to score any runs.

Bottom of 6th
Italy’s first batter strikes out. Katie Byers gets walked. Windham singles. Byers steals third and Windham steals second. Byers gets thrown out trying to sneak home. Megan Richards singles to score Windham from 3rd. Italy increases their lead 7-3 over Mildred. Italy’s next batter strikes out and Mildred gets out of the inning.

Top of 7th:
With Mildred needing to, at least, tie the game, Italy’s Megan Richards finishes strong on the mound. On Mildred’s final hit of the game, Megan Richards scooped the lazy grounder and threw to Windham on first who reached for the final out. The game ended with Italy winning 7-3 and improves their record to 3-1 in district play.

Go Lady Gladiators!