While on my week long spring break from UF, I still found a way to catch some sports. This time however, it had nothing to do with a Gator sports team. No, I decided to head back to the old stomping grounds and watch the Westminster Academy Lady Lions softball team as they took on the Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs. After saying hi to a few of the girls, I sat down and watched what ended up being a blowout.
The Lady Lions jumped on Gibbons early as they used a ton of walks and timely hitting to take a 7-0 lead in the first inning. The inning was highlighted by a near grand slam by senior Alex Pagliaro that cleared the bases. Seven runs was enough for senior starting pitcher Jensen Strandberg, who pitched the first two innings before being relieved by freshman Erika Hall with a double digit lead. Hall had some issues finding the plate and surrendered some runs, but she did enough to keep the Lady Lions in the lead. I am a big proponent of Head Coach Casey Jarvis's decision to put Hall in with such a big lead as she is the pitching future of the softball program and needs to get as much experience as possible when those opportunities present themselves. The Lady Lions were very patient at the plate today as they drew over ten walks as a team. They could have beat Gibbons by 15 runs in three innings, but ended up winning by 10 runs in five instead. Jensen Strandberg got the win while striking out two and Erica Hall picked up a hold for her two innings of relief. In case anyone was wondering, junior Micaela Von Essen was the one who put Cardinal Gibbons out of its misery with her hit that scored seventh grader Chelsea Brown to give WA the 19-9 mercy rule victory.
Defensively, the Lady Lions did a good job at limiting errors and not giving Cardinal Gibbons any extra outs. My defensive highlight had to be when junior catcher Brantley Taylor held on to the ball after being trucked by a runner to end the first inning. In my mind, that play set the tone right off the bat of who was going to control this game. Shortstop Alex Pagliaro also made a nice play on a ball as she moved to her left and made a quick throw to first to get the runner out by a step. The Lady Lions (7-1) will look to extend their five game winning streak as they hit the road to take on the Coral Springs Christian Crusaders (2-3) at 4 p.m tomorrow. I will be on hand to report on this game as well. Cardinal Gibbons (4-5) will look to get back on track as they return home to face the Coconut Creek Cougars (6-5) on March 6 at 4 p.m.