LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES: Gilroy ekes out 10-inning thriller against Italy to move to 2-0

Gilroy All-Stars starting pitcher Holly Lam winds up and

Gilroy outlasts Italy 6-5 on Monday.
KIRKLAND, Wash – Representing the West at the 2010 Little League World Series, the Gilroy Junior All-Stars were quick to make a statement and prove they belong among the elite teams in the world.

With two games in the books, Gilroy has yet to stumble, going 2-0 to start its championship charge in Kirkland, Wash.

Gilroy battled from behind three times to topple a tough Italy squad 6-5 in 10 innings to improve to the unblemished mark in Pool B play Tuesday afternoon.

“(Manager) Rudy (Perales) and I have said all along that we have 12 girls on this team and every one of them have done something to get us through to the next game,” assistant coach John Green said following the heart-pounding win.

The team, now going by the self-appointed moniker, the Garlic Girls, needed contributions up and down the lineup Tuesday.

After Italy jumped ahead 1-0 in the third, Gilroy knotted the contest with an RBI-single from Holly Lam.

Gilroy spotted Italy one run in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 3-1 lead. However, the hometown team put together a two-run rally in the bottom of the sixth to once again even the score.

Jenae Estrada ripped a one-out triple to center and Gilroy promptly loaded the bases, cashing in twice on three walks.

Each team went scoreless in the seventh to send the game into extras.

Italy (the visiting team) drew first blood in the ninth to go up 5-3. But not to be denied, Gilroy tied the game at 5-all thanks to a pair of RBI-doubles by Crissy Simpson and Brittney Souza.

After a defensive stand in the top of the 10th, Mariza Rodriguez sealed the triumph, banging a double off the center-field fence, chasing home Nicole Green all the way from first for the game winner.

“Today was tough. Italy is a really good team,” John Green said. “We played fundamental ball.”

Samantha DeLaTorre took the ball in the circle for Gilroy and struck out seven in going the distance. It was DeLaTorre’s first appearance on the hill this postseason.

“DeLaTorre stayed strong for 10 innings and she never lost her composure,” Green said.

The Garlic Girls, slipped past Central 5-0 in the opening game of Pool B play Sunday.

Paced by a complete-game, six-strikeout performance in the circle by Lam, and balanced by timely offensive production, Gilroy gained the all-important win No. 1.

A pitcher’s duel through the first two innings, Gilroy broke the scoreless tie in the top of the third. Green singled in Kristen Dennis, who led off the frame with a double, to take a 1-0 lead.

Slowly but surely the girls padded the slim advantage, tacking on one run in the fifth on a Rodriguez RBI-fielder’s choice that plated Mackenzie Mitchell.

Needing to put some space between themselves and Central, the girls scored three times in the sixth. Lam led off the frame with a single and advanced all the way to third on a Dejah Raoof base hit. Raoof stole second to give Dennis an opportunity to drive in a pair of runs. And that’s just what she did, poking a two-RBI triple into right field. Mitchell followed suit and delivered an RBI-single for the 5-0 lead.

Gilroy continues pool play today against Guam.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:45 p.m.

Leave your comments