Italy, Johnny Jones Field — The Italy Lady Gladiators defeated the Riesel Lady Indians rather matter-of-factly on Thursday with a 13-1 game 1 win in the bi-district round of the 2016 Softball 2A Region 2 Playoffs.
Thursday’s win saw the Lady Gladiators relying on the pitching talents of Jenna Holden who remained on the mound throughout. Senior Lillie Perry handled the catching duties who tracked down a foul-pop behind the plate for an out at one point.
Reisel kept contact with the ball but Italy’s defense, inspired by outfielders, senior Britney Chambers, Taylor Boyd and Karley Nelson held the Lady Indians at bay with all three Lady Gladiator outfielders catching every fly ball hit into their areas. Infielders Holden, Perry, Brycelen Richards at first, Cassidy Childers at second, April Lusk at short and Hannah Washington at third.
Richards’ led Italy’s offensive attack with one solid rip after another including a triple. Richards opened with a double to score Chambers to give Italy an early 1-0 lead. Washington recorded a double as did Holden. Lusk and Chambers had strong offensive games as well with skillful base running after getting on. Brooke DeBorde was a designated hitter and designated runners were Raegan Jones and Kirsten Viator. Aided by several walks, Italy took advantage and distanced themselves from Riesel on the scoreboard.
Absolute brilliant bunts by Boyd and Chambers let Riesel know that today was going to be Italy’s day. A late rally effort by Riesel came up short when Washington hauled in a throw from Boyd in left field to tag a sliding Lady Indian for the first out in the top of the fifth. Then Lusk gunned down a Riesel runner to Richards who made the grab at first. And finally, freshman right fielder Karley Nelson casually caught a fly ball to end the game. Italy took game 1, 13-1.
Games 2 and 3:
Games 2 and 3 were played in Riesel on Saturday with the Lady Indians overcoming a 7-0 deficit to win game 2, 12-8 over Italy. With the series tied 1-1, both teams put it all on the line in a deciding game 3.
Italy trailed 10-3 going into their last at bat when Brooke Deborde delivered a two-run homerun to make the score 10-5. Unfortunately, Riesel was able to secure a third out to end the game and claim the bi-district championship for the Lady Indians.
Special thanks to our senior Lady Gladiators, Britney Chambers, Cassidy Childers, Lillie Perry and Hannah Washington for keeping the bat raised high for future teams to aspire too. Displaying hard work and cultivating team chemistry is the path you each have helped create and the path our future players will continue to follow.
The 2016 Coop Crew finished as the district runner-up and bi-district finalists under the guidance of head coach Tina Richards and assistant coaches Johnny Jones, Michael Chambers and Melissa Souder.
2016 Lady Gladiator Playoff Roster:
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Managers: Morgan Chambers, Skylar Johnson