Imagine Prep Battles ALA-Ironwood

Lady Panthers Earn First Win, Off to 1-2 Start in Softball

By Daniel Dullum

Just two days after coming up with its first-ever softball victory, Imagine Prep-Superstition tried to make it two consecutive wins, but came up short against American Leadership Academy-Ironwood, losing 15-9 in five innings at Prospector Park.

The upstart Lady Panthers (1-2) defeated Phoenix South Ridge 19-1 on March 5, and jumped to a 5-2 first inning lead against ALA-Ironwood. But the Warriors made a pitching change after surging ahead 6-5 in the third inning, replacing starter Ari Pearson with eighth-grader Olivia Gammill, who threw a no-hitter the day before against Southwest Leadership Academy.

ALA-I broke the game open in the fourth on Shaylee Verdine’s triple, which preceded an inside-the-park home run by Lauren Shaw. Jessica Kring added an RBI single as the Warriors extended their lead to 9-5.

In the top of the fifth, IPS replaced starting pitcher Jayla Noble with eighth-grader Jorian Foley. Though Foley struck out two, ALA-Ironwood took advantage of IPS fielding miscues and added six more runs to their lead.

Imagine Prep battled back in the bottom of the fifth, sending 10 hitters to the plate and scoring four runs. In that final rally. Bella Ortiz had a run-scoring single, and Foley and Genevih Palacio each had bases-loaded RBI walks before Gammill struck out Esther Robinson to end the game.

“That’s part of the growing up process,” Lady Panthers Coach Joe Baumann said. “You can Foley struck out two ALA-I hitters, the Warriors also scored six more runs.

After loading the bases with no one out in the bottom of the fourth and coming up empty, the Lady Panthers battled definitely see improvement, and they never quit, to the last strike of the last batter. We’re in the game.”

Imagine Prep-Superstition is off for spring break, returning to the diamond on Wednesday, March 21, when the Lady Panthers host Imagine Prep-Coolidge.

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