The IYAA baseball/softball and t-ball teams have finished their regular seasons and are currently competing in the division tournaments. So far, IYAA teams have accounted for three division tournament championships and two second place finishes in the division tournaments with more games still to pay.
8u girls coach pitch:
Head coached by Lisa Mott, the Italy 8u girls coach pitch Lady Gladiators earned first place in their division tournament. They earned it because the team had to overcome a 10-9 loss to Whitney White, win in dramatic fashion during their last at bat and come from behind to defeat Hillsboro White 10-9, slide past another Hillsboro team 12-4 and then win the rematch with Whitney White in the championship game 21-8.
The entire 8u girls squad deserves mention for this effort. Top plays were put in by pitcher Lacy Mott, Hannah Haight, Karley Nelson, Madison Galvan, Grace Payne, Alexus Cisneros, Courtney Riddle, catcher Sydney Lowenthal, Kimberly Hooker and Kambria Brooks.
12u boys – Gray:
Head coached by Jason Escamilla, Italy Gray’s 12u boys won their first game in the division tournament 16-2 over Whitney. Unfortunately, losses to Aquilla and Hillsboro caused Italy Gray to finish in third place in the division tournament, bringing their season to a close.
10u boys – Red:
Head coached by Stephen Mott, Italy Red 10u boys won their first game of the division tournament 13-2 and their second game of the tournament 10-0 over Whitney Black thanks to a perfect game pitched by Trevor Mott. Whitney Black has struggled to hit against T. Mott this season and opted to forfeit the championship game to Italy Red making Coach Mott’s team the division tournament champions.
12u boys – Burnt Orange:
Head coached by Ken Norwood, Italy Burnt Orange has yet to play their tournament games.
Head coached by Charles Hyles, Italy’s T-Ball boys won second place in the division tournament and have qualified for the district tournament.
10u girls coach pitch:
Head coached by Robin Wafer, Italy’s Pink Panthers won their division tournament championship qualifying them for the district tournament as well.
12u girls fastpitch:
Head coached by Michael Chambers, Italy Lime Green lost their first game of the division tournament but rallied to win two straight. In the game before the championship, Whitney outscored Italy 12-10, ending Italy’s 12u girls season.
15u girls fastpitch:
Head coached by Doug Nelson, Italy’s 15u Lady Gladiators won their first game of the division tournament Tuesday night. With Jaclynn Lewis contolling the game from the mound, Madison Washington scored along with Katie Byers and Tara Wallis after Washington hit a 3-run homerun in the bottom of the 3rd inning. In the bottom of the 6th, Jamie McIntyre knocked in one last run to give Italy a 4-1 win over Hillsboro Lime Green.
Wednesday night, two of the best teams in the area squared off on the diamond. Washington either scored or knocked in each of Italy’s 4-runs in a 9-4 loss to Itasca. Nelson’s team will play again Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Upchurch Ball Fields in Italy. A win will set the table for a rematch with Itasca in the division tournament championship game.
Head coached by Gary Woods, the Gladdogs had two runs taking away after it was determined runners failed to step on the bases properly and left two stranded during their last at bat in a game one loss to Hillsboro Maroon 15-12.
In game 2, The going didn’t get much easier against Itasca but the Gladdogs overcame a 7-run deficit to to win 15-14 in the bottom of the 8th inning. After the three hour grinding game with Itasca, the Gladdogs had a short break before the rematch with Hillsboro Maroon in the division tournament championship game.
Down 9-2, the Gladdogs closed in 9-7 after a grand slam by Italy’s Justin Wood. That all was all the excitement the Gladdogs could manage, however, except for the 20 minute delay caused by the outfield sprinklers at Hillsboro’s ball park. The rare occurrence prompted Tyler Vencill, Lance McClendon and Kevin Roldan to slide, hurdle and splash around, taking advantage of the moment.
Hillsboro eventually won the game 15-7 but they didn’t break the spirit of the Gladdogs who played 6.5 hours in two games, went 15-innings, scored 36 runs (with two taken away) finishing second in the division tournament. The Gladdogs huddled loud and proud afterwards shouting, “One Team!”
IYAA Sports, “The winning tradition starts here.”