CDO/Ironwood Ridge baseball/softball rivalry produces 9 home runs and 40 runsby Andy Morales on Apr. 02, 2013, under Sports
The Ironwood Ridge baseball/softball complex is one of the best designs in all of Southern Arizona for the simple reason that one can watch both fields simultaneously if they so desired and there was no better day to do that than on Tuesday.
The upper stands on the first base side of the softball stadium has a clear view of the whole baseball field some 40 feet away and, with Canyon del Oro visiting, there were sure to be some fireworks on both fields.
Those who chose this view were rewarded with 2 games, 49 hits, 9 home runs, 40 runs, 8 pitchers and 2 completely different results.
The Ironwood Ridge (15-3) baseball team avenged a 9-4 loss to CDO (12-5) back on March 27 with an 18-6 performance and the CDO (19-3) softball squad completed a regular-season sweep over The Ridge (14-8) with a 9-7 nail-biter.
Brandon Burke hit a lead-off homerun to put CDO up 1-0 and it looked like the Dorados would extend their win streak over Ironwood Ridge to five games dating back to March of 2011 but Sean Dannenbaum recovered and held CDO in check and the Nighthawks exploded with six runs in the bottom of the first to take a commanding 6-1 lead.
CDO had been so powerful in the last four games with a combined 40-11 total score over Ironwood Ridge that one felt a change in fortunes was bound to happen and Tuesday appeared to be that day.
Unofficially, Ryan Windish hit a 3-Run home run, Frankie Ortiz went 3-3 with a double, Jake Mathews hit a 2-Run home run, Kurt Bailey went 3-4, Ryan Neter went 2-3, Jake Dunn hit a double and Trey Stine picked up a hit.
In all, Ironwood Ridge collected 14 hits but none were better that the two home runs brought in by Devin Harrison for one good reason. With Matthews on everybody’s radar with his six home runs, 30 plus RBIs and above .500 batting average, one would think an intentional walk would be coming his way more often than not but that is near impossible with Harrison batting behind him.
Harrison is approaching a .540 batting average with 30 plus RBIs and four home runs. He has become the ultimate protection for Matthews.
Canyon del Oro also produced with 11 hits of their own to score six runs but it wasn’t nearly enough Tuesday night. Even so, Burke went 3-3 with the home run, Erick Migueles went 2-4 with a double, Nick Ames went 3-3 with a 3-Run blast, Cedrick Cervantez picked up a hit, Jared Dubois had a double and Anthony Cordova had a hit also. Catcher Ryan Bronson was hit-by-pitch twice in the game.
The Nighthawks will get little rest with a visit to Tucson High (17-3) coming up on Thursday night and CDO hosts Amphi (5-9-1) on the same night.
Meanwhile, the Ironwood Ridge/CDO softball rivalry has been one of the most heated and competitive in all of Arizona since CDO only won 2 of 3 last year with the most important victory coming in the semifinal game of the 2012 state playoffs to send CDO to another championship.
In fact, before last year, CDO had not lost to The Ridge since March of 2008 but that has all changed with each game since nearly coming down to the last batter and this one proved no different after Ironwood Ridge worked the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh.
CDO stranded two batters in the first but they jumped up with seven runs in the second thanks to a 2-RBI double by Samantha Nettling, an RBI single from Makenzie Sullivan and a grand slam from Heather Knight.
CDO sent 12 batters to the plate in the second inning with freshman sensation Carli Campbell and Maggie Morales also collecting hits and Jordyn Binnion, Niki Gonzalez and Monique Castillo earning walks (Castillo twice).
Ironwood Ridge loaded the bases in the bottom of the second but Alexis Alfonso picked up a ground out to end the threat. Emily Robinson came in to replace Morgan Anderson in the circle and she held CDO until the Dorados loaded the bases in the fifth inning but Robinson was able to work her way out of that jam also.
Alexis Clinton singled in Merrilee Miller in the bottom of the third and then she scored later on an error to make the score 7-2. Erin Rocker also hit in the inning but Ironwood Ridge left two more runners stranded with Lexi Adelberg at third and Rocker at second base with one out.
Clinton led off the bottom of the fifth with another hit and Adelberg followed with a single. Rocker blasted an opposite-field home run to make the score 7-5. Alfonso retired six batters in a row from there and CDO added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh on a 2-Run home run from Nettling to make it 9-5.
Once again, Clinton led off with a single and then Adelberg reached. Alfonso picked up a double play on a line out to her and a throw to first but Robyn Porter singled in Clinton to make it 9-6 with two outs.
Alex Rapp singled to put the tying run at the plate but Reina Bondi was able to reach on an infield error, scoring Kelsey Buechler who was running for Porter. 9-7.
Crista Braunreiter came in to pinch hit for Casey Fisher and she reached on another infield error to load the bases. Alfonso was able to induce a ground out to end the game with the top of the lineup coming up.
Clinton went 3-4, Adelberg went 2-4, Rapp went 2-4, Rocker went 2-4 with a home run and Miller, Porter and Bondi picked up hits for Ironwood Ridge.
Nettling went 2-4 with a double and a home run, Knight went 2-5 with a double and a grand slam, Gonzalez went 2-4, Sullivan went 2-5 and Binnion, Morales, Castillo and Campbell each singled for CDO.
Ironwood Ridge travels to Tucson High (13-6) on Thursday night and CDO hosts Amphi (0-9) on the same day.