Clifton — After a thrilling 13-innings of war earlier this season between Italy and Clifton Lady Cubs, a game the Lady Gladiators won at home, the battle raged on at Clifton’s home field on Friday. The Lady Gladiators trailed 3-0 to Clifton before a right field double by, Bailey Bumpus, ignited Italy’s offense to take a 5-3 lead in the fourth.
A brutal outing for both sides, multiple player collisions, had the playing field resembling a war zone with the worst crash taking down senior Lady Gladiator, Megan Richards, who was covering first base in the third-inning. Both the Clifton runner and Richards, who is also Italy’s starting pitcher, laid injured while the medics rushed out to care for them. After several minutes on the ground, both players were helped up and both players remained in the game.
With Italy’s ailing pitcher returning to the mound in the bottom of the fourth, the Lady Cubs found confidence and went on the attack. With bases loaded in the sixth, Clifton executed a series of bunts to reclaim the lead for good on their way to an 11-6 win.
The loss to Clifton gives Italy an 8-3 district record as both clubs, along with district leading Grandview, will be heading into the playoffs.
The JV Gladiators kept the game close but Clifton added extra runs late to edge out Italy, 6-2. The varsity Gladiators were unable to contain an offensive barrage from Cubs who won 9-1 in the days finale.
The Gladiators will play their final regular season games in Rio Vista today with the JV Gladiators taking first crack at the JV Eagles at 4:30 p.m.and the varsity Gladiators will follow at 7:30 p.m.