Lady Indians find swing in 7-1 playoff win at Padua
The No. 12 Lady Indians snuck into the DIAA softball playoffs last week, with senior pitcher Rachel Hudson stepping up on the mound and behind the bats of a few of their key hitters. The entire team was back in rhythm at the plate last Saturday, May 24, when they traveled to No. 5 Padua and returned home with a 7-1 victory — advancing to the quarterfinals this Wednesday, May 28 (after Coastal Point press time), to face Wilmington Charter.
“Our hitting is finally coming together as a whole team,” said head coach Erika Brittingham. “We’ve been able to count on a few girls here and there for every game, but it’s nice to be able — no matter who’s hitting — to know they’re gonna produce something for us.”
The Lady Indians were getting hits throughout the lineup all game, but senior second-baseman Ana Impastato led the charge with three hits and a homerun, and sophomore right-fielder Ky Neal knocked in two RBIs in the matchup.
“They’re making the adjustments at the plate. Padua’s pitcher had a lot of spin, and we were stringing hits together,” Brittingham explained of the hitting turn around, noting that, previously, the girls had struggled against pitchers with spin. “We were hitting one through nine, and that hasn’t happened for a long time.”
The first-round victory came just a game removed from last week’s final regular-season matchup against Wilmington Charter, which IR won 2-1 after Hudson gave up only one hit. Neal’s two-run homer ended up being the difference in the game.
After the victory last weekend, the girls were preparing to travel back up to Wilmington yet again, to face that same Charter team for a chance to advance to the semi-finals.
“I make sure that they know that, just because you beat a team once, does not necessarily mean that your gonna beat them again,” Brittingham said of the team’s strategy headed into that matchup.
If the girls advanced in Wednesday’s matchup, they would face Caravel on Thursday, May 29, with the time and location to be announced. Delmar and Laurel were also set to square off on Wednesday, May 28, (after Coastal Point press time), in the DIAA semi-finals.
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