The Lady Gladiators are now 5-0 in district play after defeating Waxahachie Faith Family 16-0 on Italy’s home field. The Girls of Gold have now outscored their district competition 70 runs to just 5 runs. Sophomore Jaclynn Lewis, along with solid play from her defensive teammates, has a 0 ERA to her credit at the midway point of league play.
Besides being an outstanding catcher and fierce competitor, senior catcher Alyssa Richards has picked off 4 runners on base and has 2 homeruns under her belt so far this season, including one over-the-fence during tournament play and one inside-the-park homer against district rival Itasca. Sophomore Tara Wallis has turned in a pair of inside the park homeruns as well, both in district play. Senior Paige Westbrook went yard against Grand Prairie Advantage and Lewis powered one out of the park before district began.
Sophomore Kelsey Nelson has continued to impress with her play in the outfield and with a bat in her hand while classmate Madison Washington has been active at shortstop and efficient inside the batter’s box as the leadoff hitter.
Head coach Wayne Rowe has switched third baseman Katie Byers to first base at the beginning of district play and Byers has made the most of the transition by handling the various throws that come her way during the course of a game. Westbrook replaced Byers at third and with her ability to make diving catches has been a good fit at the hot corner.
Slap hitters Bailey Eubank, a sophomore, and Britney Chambers, a freshman, add that degree of sophistication to Italy’s offensive weaponry that keeps opposing defenses on their toes. Eubank has been reliable at second base pulling from her experience gained from Italy’s regional playoff run in 2012 while Chambers takes on any task thrown her way whether it be as an infielder or an outfielder. With senior Morgan Cockerham temporarily sidelined, look for Chambers or possibly Hannah Washington to fill the void without Cockerham in the lineup.
The Lady Gladiators will face Blooming Grove tomorrow night in the Grove for a non-district filler game starting with the JV contest at 4:30 p.m. followed by the varsity matchup at 6:00 p.m. Italy’s next district challenge will be a rematch against the Itasca Lady Wampus Cats on Tuesday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m. in Italy.