BELLE GLADE — It sounds strange, but the Glades Day Lady Gators are three games into their season and have yet to play an entire game of softball.
That’s because the Lady Gators have jumped out to such huge leads in all three games that they had to be ended early due to the Florida High School Sports Association’s mercy rule.
Glades Day beat Glades Central 21-0 to open their season on Feb. 18. They followed that up with a 15-1 win over John Carroll Catholic on Feb. 19 and a 24-0 shutout of Pahokee on Feb. 20.
Against Glades Central, Lady Gator freshman Peyton Pelham led the team in RBIs with three, followed by fellow freshman Nicki Ruiz and sophomore Hannah Miller who each had two. Junior Ruth Lively had a team leading four hits against the Lady Raiders while senior Ashlyn Bifolck got the start on the mound for Glades Day, allowing only one hit in three innings pitched.
While the freshmen on the team led the way against Glades Central, it was the Lady Gator seniors who stepped up in the win against John Carroll Catholic. Seniors Morgan McNeill and Olivia Esquivel led the team on offense with two hits and an RBI for each.
Bifolck had a team leading four RBIs in the Lady Gators’ home game against Pahokee, while McNeill and Lively each brought in three. Lively, McNeill and Bifolck each had a home run against the Lady Blue Devils while sophomore Landry Pitts had a triple.
McNeill started on the mound for Glades Day, striking out five and allowing only one hit in three innings pitched.
The fast start for the Lady Gators shouldn’t be too surprising. They are coming off three back-to-back district championships under head coach Sherri Paez, who has helped build the Lady Gators softball program into the regular playoff contenders they now are. Last season, Glades Day was one game away from the state championship when they fell to Mount Dora Christian Academy in the state semifinal.
The Lady Gators will face their first true test of the season this week when they travel to play the LaBelle Lady Cowboys on Feb. 26.
The Lady Cowboys swept Glades Day by double digits in both games last year.
Glades Day and LaBelle face off at 7 p.m. on Feb. 26 at LaBelle High School.