Italy — The Lady Gladiators out scored the visiting Grand Prairie Advantage Academy Lady Eagles 26-0 over the course of two district games on Friday.
Italy’s revamped defensive lineup continues to shine with pitcher Jaclynn Lewis in the center of it all from inside the circle. Lewis has been near flawless since returning from injury. By keeping opposing offenses frustrated, Lewis has opened the door for Italy’s hitters to flourish with their confidence riding high.
And once on base, that’s when the fun really starts for the Lady Gladiators. During the first game of the double-header against the Lady Eagles, Britney Chambers made a head-first dive into third-base to beat the throw, the speed of April Lusk is fun to watch, as long as you don’t blink and the fearless little Tara Wallis made an aggressive slide into home just beating the tag that brushed her helmet.
Lewis was involved in bit of a collision on her way to second-base that looked as though she might be called out but an obstruction call was charged to the Lady Eagle first-baseman and Lewis was allowed to return to first.
Slap hitter Bailey Eubank has the timing down and is savvy as a base runner as are Kelsey Nelson and Lillie Perry. Hannah Washington made her way home after leaping over a bat obstructing the third-base line and Cassidy Childers adds quickness as a pinch runner.
And as skilled as a base runner as Madison Washington is for the Lady Gladiators, it’s her power and consistency that really jumpstarts Italy’s offense along with Lewis who arced an over-the-fence home run ball that cleared that centerfield fence in game one on Friday. The solo shot was Lewis’s first homer this season.
The lone senior, Paige Westbrook, has heated up lately on offense and added a triple late in the contest to help secure the first game win for Italy, 10-0.
Westbrook has also been playing solid on defense, as well, since taking over at first-base. Several grounders have come her way over the past few games and she has handled them all with total control and confidence. In game one, a sharp liner hit by the Lady Eagles nested perfectly into the waiting mitt of Westbrook for an inning ending out with Westbrook quickly whipping the ball back to the circle in a display of defiance.
Bailey Eubank at second, Madison Washington at short, Hannah Washington at third and Perry inside the catcher’s mask round out Italy’s revamped infield. Perry showed her ability by shedding that mask and securing a popup for an out near the backstop fence. Chambers in left, an active Nelson in centerfield and Wallis in right make up Italy’s starting outfield.
As good as the Lady Gladiators were in game one, they poured it on even more in second game by putting up another 16 runs compared to the Lady Eagles who posted another doughnut. A triple by Lusk highlighted Italy’s offensive output as the Lady Gladiator improve to 5-2 in district play while holding firm in 2nd place.
The card for Tuesday’s upcoming games:
- 4:30pm — Italy Baseball: JV vs Wortham
- 5:30pm — Italy Softball: V vs Avalon (district)
- Throwback Night
- Senior Night
- Field Dedication and Reception following
- 7:00pm — Italy Baseball: Varsity vs Avalon (district)