Softball: Marana comes out on top of CDO 7-6by Andy Morales on Apr. 20, 2013, under Sports
Marana (D-I: 24-6, 12-4) lost three of their first six regular season games and it looked like it might be a long season for coach George Corona and his Lady Tigers but an impressive run through the Tucson Badger Tournament set them on a different course.
That tourney began a string of 13 wins in a row and a top eight ranking in Division I but it was brought to a halt by Ironwood Ridge (D-II: 20-9, 12-3) on Thursday night. Marana had a chance to get back on course if they could recover in time to play Canyon del Oro (D-II: 26-4, 15-1) on Friday. If they lost again, a first-round bye would probably be out of the question.
CDO, on the other hand, was also running on a winning streak that brought them to the top of the D-II rankings. A loss to Marana would probably still give them a bye but it could also cost them a top four position and a possible early playoff game against Sunrise Mountain (29-1, 14-1).
The last thing anyone would expect from a Marana/CDO game would be errors but the teams combined for 10 of them that resulted in five unearned runs with Marana ultimately coming out on top 7-6.
Also key to Marana’s victory was the performance of pitcher Casey Cadenhead (13-4). Cadenhead only picked up five strikeouts but three of them came in the first inning causing CDO to strand three runners. In all, Cadenhead kept eight CDO base runners from crossing the plate with four of those standing on third.
The Dorados scored first on a two-out RBI single by Makenzie Sullivan to bring in Jordyn Binnion who had started the bottom of the first inning with a single but another single by Heather Knight and a walk by Maggie Morales would be nullified once Cadenhead picked up her third strikeout of the inning.
Samantha Nettling would be left stranded on third base in the third inning by another strikeout and a one-out double by Monique Castillo and a wild pitch to mover over to third base in the fourth would also go unrewarded after two ground balls to the left side left her stranded.
Meanwhile, Alexis Alfonso (12-4) was able to recover from a lead-off hit by Alex Gehr by retiring the next three batters but then the second inning came.
Hannah McCoy started things off with a double and a sacrifice and three errors would bring her in to tie the game at 1-1. Alfonso avoided more damage with a strikeout and a fly ball to end the threat.
Hailey Oesterling started the top of the third with another double and McCoy followed with a hit one out later. Alfonso struck out the next batter but Cadenhead helped herself out with a 2-RBI single to bring in Oesterling and McCoy. Jordan Wengert brought in another run and then Maddy Vieux came up with another hit. Wengert scored on a throwing error to give Marana a commanding 5-1 lead.
Taylor Walker led off the fourth with a single and then Oesterling reached on another error but Alfonso picked up two of her six strikeouts to help her get out of another jam.
Alfonso held tough in the fifth and CDO made some progress at the plate in the bottom of the inning on a lead-off walk by Binnion and a hit by Nettling. Both runners advanced one base on the play but it looked like they would also be stranded after two more balls were hit to the left side.
Knight came up with a huge double down the left field line to score two runs but she was left stranded at third base to make the score a more manageable 5-3.
Marana got the two runs back in the top of the sixth. Gehr, Walker and Oesterling hit back-to-back-to-back singles to start the inning and Gehr was able to score on an error on Oesterling’s hit. Sierra Cuestas hit a ground ball to score Walker and freshman pitcher Randi Longville made an appearance in the circle for CDO.
Longville induce a pop fly and a strike out to get out of the inning. CDO could not produce in the bottom of the sixth and entered the seventh and final inning down 7-3.
Longville held Marana with two more strikeouts and it was CDO’s turn to bat.
Nettling, Niki Gonzalez and Sullivan came up and it was their turn to hit back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases with no outs. Knight hit a ground ball to the right side to score Sierra Gaskill who was running for Nettling and then Marana gave up two errors on a dropped foul ball and a fielding error to allow Longville to reach and score Gonzalez.
Castillo hit to the right side to bring in Sullivan to make the score 7-6 with two outs with a runner at second base. Cadenhead was able to recover and a close play got Brenna Griesser at first base for the third out.
Marana has three games left on their schedule and CDO has two. The Tigers begin their final stand at Desert View, Sahuarita and Flowing Wells on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
CDO finishes with two home games against Catalina Foothills on Monday and Salpointe on Tuesday. The state playoffs begin on April 27.
Gehr went 2-5; Walker went 2-2 with a sac; Oesterling went 2-4 with a double; Cuestas picked up an RBI; McCoy went 2-4 with a double; Cadenhead had 2 RBIs; Wengert had an RBI and Vieux had a single for Marana.
Binnion picked up a hit and scored two runs; Nettling went 2-3; Gonzalez had a hit; Sullivan went 2-3; Knight went 2-4 with a double and 3 RBIs; Castillo had a double and an RBI to lead CDO.