Lady Panthers’ 2nd Win
By Daniel Dullum
Early in Imagine Prep-Superstition’s March 21 softball game against Imagine Prep-Coolidge, the warmer spring temperatures weren’t helping Lady Panthers pitcher Jayla Noble.
The junior right-hander found she needed a break, and, after getting hydrated and spending a few outs in left field, she returned to the Prospector Park mound to pick up where she left off.
“I didn’t drink any water today, so when I started pitching, I got a little lightheaded,” Jayla Noble said. “I just had to drink some water.”
Lady Panthers Coach Joe Bachmann said, “At this time of year, it’s really not hot, but it’s dry. And at the building they go to school in, it’s dry there too. They need to drink water all day long.
“I tell you what, Jayla coming back was really good. Thank goodness, we could move her to the outfield and bring someone else (Jorian Foley) in to pitch for a while. That worked good.”
Jayla struck out five Imagine Prep-Coolidge hitters as the Lady Panthers claimed a 12-7, six-inning victory.
“Alyssa really helped today,” Jayla said. “She was moving the target around, look at me and move her hand, giving me a specific target that helped me a lot.”
Bachmann said his team is “practicing the things we needed to work on, like tonight, there’s still a few things we need to work on, and next week, it’ll be something else. When that’s the case, it means they’re playing hard and trying to do their best.”
Baumann was happy about his team’s defensive play, lauding a line drive snared by third baseman Geneveh Palacio that snuffed out an IP-Coolidge rally.
“Our shortstop (Annalise Chiera) is out with a hamstring and we’re not sure how long she’ll be out,” Baumann said. “But Jorian (Foley) did a nice job, and Geneveh (Palacio) is awesome. She’s actually a catcher, but she can play anywhere.”
Bella Ortiz collected three hits, including a home run, and scored five runs for the Lady Panthers.
“So far, it’s going good,” Ortiz said. “I was really excited to come to Imagine Prep to play softball. At the beginning of the season, I stumbled a little bit with my hitting. But since, I seem to be hitting my spot, so that’s good.
“But I’m glad for the effort our team is putting in. It felt good to beat Coolidge. I don’t know very much about them, but since they’re also Imagine Prep, it feels good to take that win.”
After five games, the Lady Panthers are 3-2 following a 19-2 rout of Chandler Tri-City Christian Academy. As for progress, Baumann said, “We see them every day, so we think they should be a little further ahead. People that don’t see them will say they’re making a lot of progress. And that’s good.”
“It’s getting a lot better,” Alyssa Noble said. “We’re starting to work more together as a team.”
Photo above: Geneveh Palacio (13) brings versatility to the Imagine Prep-Superstition softball lineup. Her defensive gem at shortstop helped the Lady Panthers defeat Imagine Prep-Coolidge. (Photo by Daniel Dullum)