The IYAA enjoyed opening day at Upchurch Field on Monday as the little leaguers played like pros fielding grounders, corralling pop-ups, turning singles into triples and swinging away at that full count pitch…no matter what!
ASA certified umpires were calling the shots as volunteer coaches led their teams. Concession operators, Misty Escamilla, Deborah Perry, Sandra Norwood and Ken Norwood kept fans quenched and smiling.
Italy’s 12 and under boys team, coached by Jason Escamilla and Randy Boyd, were ready to play in their opener as the boys came out pitching strikes and swinging the bats.
Italy’s pitching staff was top notch and 6th Grader, J.T. Escamilla, was brilliant behind the plate picking runners off as they ran the bases. And when he located a towering foul ball behind the plate, he made the catch for the out as he landed on his back.
Third baseman Ken Norwood, Jr. and first baseman Cody Boyd were as productive playing the infield as they were at the plate. Norwood made the catch and tagged out several runners before they could reach his base.
Unfortunately, Hillsboro was turning in a strong performance of it’s own and out-pointed Italy for the win.
The Italy Pink Panthers softball team coached by Tina Haight, Casey Holden and Shawn Holden won 6-2 over the Whitney Lady Wildcats.
The hot pink uniforms worn by Italy obviously distracted Whitney as Italy’s black socks with pink polk-a-dots had the Wildcats seeing spots.
By the time Whitney connected the dots the game was over, and hot pink poured onto the infield in a celebratory fashion.
Italy 12 and under girls softball, coached by Michael Chambers, won 18-2 as they steamrolled over Hillsboro. The pitching/catching combination of Tara Wallis and Halee Turner was impressive. Wallis kept delivering punches from the pitchers mound while Italy’s team of talented hitters, including Bailey DeBorde, Hannah Washington, Ashlyn Jacinto and Britney Chambers, loaded up and fired away.
After a Hillsboro batter connected on a Wallis pitch, first baseman Lillie Perry made a key play in the game. Perry leaped to catch the throw to first, and without looking down, landed on the bag for the out.
Late in the contest, as the Hillsboro pitcher tired, Italy was swinging away loading the bases and building the lead. Hillsboro eventually switched pitchers but it made little difference as Chamber’s Charmers dominated the diamond.
Congratulations to all the teams for making opening day so much fun!