Gardens rallies behind Walker's key hit in 7th
RBI single breaks tie as young Gators improve to 8-3.
PALM BEACH GARDENS — Palm Beach Gardens dealt Miami-Westminster Christian its first loss Tuesday night, rallying for a 2-1 victory at Amanda J. Buckley Memorial Stadium.
Jaden Walker’s two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning brought home Bri Clary with the winning run for the No. 4Gators, who improved to 8-3.
The Warriors, who won the Class 4A state championship last season, dropped to 6-1.
“We’re young, and we’re struggling a little bit in big spots,” Palm Beach Gardens coach Randy Jackson said. “But we just got going here, and now we play a bunch of state champions and runners- up. It’s a young group, and they grew up a little today.”
The Gators have 10 freshmen and sophomores, with starting pitcher Danielle D eaton among them.
The freshman right-hander pitched a gem Tuesday, allowing one run on three hits in seven innings to pick up the win. She held the Warriors scoreless through fifive innings, while Westminster Christian starter Victoria Perez held Palm Beach Gardens scoreless through six.
Both teams had their chance son offense, though.
The Gators threatened in the bottom of the second, placing runners on fifirst and second with one out. But Perez got out of the inning, retiring the fifinal two batters on a fielder’s choice and a strikeout.
The Gators threatened again in the fourth, loading the bases with one out following a leadoff error, a walk and a hit batsman. But Perez worked out of the jam again, striking out the final two batters. They were the right-hander’s fourth and fififth strikeouts.
Westminster Christian finally got its offense going in the top of the sixth, putting two runners on with two outs for Hailey Donovan. The shortstop rapped an RBI double to center to put the Warriors ahead 1-0.
The Gators were unable to answer in their half of the inning, but followed through in the seventh.
Palm Beach Gardens loaded the bases with two outs, and tied the game on a bases-loaded walk to Brooke Barnard. Walker followed with the game-winning hit.