BELLE GLADE — It was a busy week at Glades Day High School.
Academic awards were given out, class night was convened for the 2019 seniors and graduation was held marking the end of the 2018-19 school year.
In the middle of all of that there was also a softball game. And a very big softball game at that.
The Glades Day Lady Gators hosted the Colonial Christian Lady Patriots on May 14 in the regional final, with a chance to advance into the state semifinal on the line.
Despite the busy week and the high stakes of regional final game, Glades Day coach Sherri Paez saw nothing but confidence in her Lady Gators.
“The team was staying focused even though last week was pretty busy,” said Paez. “This team this year has been full of surprises. I did not see any nervousness in them before the game. In fact, they told me to leave all the practice equipment out because they would need it the next day after the game. And they did.”
The Lady Gators jumped out to an early lead against the Lady Patriots, putting up five runs in the first inning. Freshman pitcher Kaylee Underwood kept the Colonial Christian offense control throughout the game, allowing only three runs in six innings on the mound.
The Glades Day offense, on the other hand, shifted into high gear, eventually hanging 13 more runs on the Lady Patriots.
Olivia Esquivel went 2-for-3 with 5 RBIs while Allison Deaton went 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs.
The Lady Gators would go on to punch their ticket to the state semifinal with a 18-3 victory over Colonial Christian.
This marks the second time in three years that the Lady Gators have advanced to the state semifinal. They reached this stage back in the 2016-17 school year where they fell to Aucilla Christian in a 5-0 heartbreaking loss.
Paez said she had one message for her team this week.
“I’ve told them that there have been a number of teams to make it this far but only one has been able to take the next step,” said Paez. “I asked them which one they wanted to be. Hopefully they will bring it home to the Glades.”