IYAA Softball/Baseball celebrates Opening Day 2014 with enthusiasm and success

Image: IYAA Opening Day 2014 reminds us all what youth sports is all about.

IYAA Opening Day 2014 reminds us all what youth sports is all about. (Barry Byers)

Italy — The Italy Youth Athletic Association (IYAA) pulled off a very successful opening day of softball/baseball experiences for its players and visiting teams. The crowds were enthusiastic and encouraging, the players were happy and smiling with snack remnants and eye paint smeared across their rosy faces and the weather was bright and sunny. Yes, it was a perfect way to begin what is sure to be another amazing season turned in by those talented IYAA players!

Caps off to IYAA President Charles Hyles and his staff of volunteer board members, coaches and parents who pitched in wherever they could to keep the games running smoothly.

In some late day action, the 14u Girls led by pitcher Christy Murray, catcher Taylor Boyd and Madison Galvan who turned in a standout performance, rallied back from 4 runs down to overtake Itasca 16-15 during Italy’s final at bat. With the team sponsored by Steven Varner’s Alon who coaches with Randy Boyd, saw Murray score on a close play at the plate and a sliding score by Jill Varner to keep Italy within striking distance, Tatum Adams tied the match after a hit by Hailey Duckett scored Adams. Duckett eventually scored the winning run after a bases loaded walk by Itasca.

Thru it all, Italy’s girls hit, dove, caught and ran with the phrase, “Play For Hannah,” written on their inner forearms in support of teammate Hannah Haight who was unable to compete in the game.

In the finale, the 8u Boys got a triple from Jaylen Wallace and an inside-the-park home run from Austin Cate to help their team, sponsored by Stiles Land and Cattle, to take care of business against Kopperl.

Italy’s coach pitch girls got the job done against Itasca with Justice Shelby, Ella Hudson, Azlin Itson, Cadence Ellis, Paige Butler, Karley Sigler, Mia Droll, Kiara Bueno, Kinley Cate and Emily Janek all playing major roles in helping their squad bring home the win.

You can catch the IYAA kids in action each Saturday for the next two weekends with the games and festivities starting at 9:00 a.m. We hope you will stop by and show your support. The concession stand is always ready to serve our fans!

IYAA Sports, “The winning tradition starts here.”