Pima Softball: Championship Saturday means three more winsby Andy Morales on May. 18, 2013, under Sports
Pima (49-18) beat the top seeded Butler (54-4) team late Friday night to get to final of the Elimination Bracket against the 2-seeded Salt Lake (49-18) team to be played Saturday morning at 9 am Tucson time.
Already guaranteed a top three finish, the Aztecs are obviously playing for a lot more and will have to win three games in a row to take the NJCAA Division I National Championship held at the Canyons Complex in St. George, Utah.
Pima came in as a 5 seed and they took care of the much lower seeded (12) Paris, Texas team 6 to 4 in the first round and blanked the 4 seeded NE Oklahoma A&M team 4 to 0 on Thursday before they fell to the 8 seed Wallace State (Alabama) team 8 to 6 on Friday afternoon.
The loss placed the Aztecs in the “Drop-Down Bracket” in the double-elimination format where they destroyed 11 seed Lake Land (Illinois) 13 to 3 to get to their match with Butler late Friday night.
Butler (Kansas) was sent to the Elimination Bracket by Wallace State in the second round and they battled back before losing to Pima 6 to 3.
Most, if not all, of the athletes at this level have grown up playing sometimes five to six games (or more) a day in championship play so this is nothing new to them or to the sport. Pima already played three games on Friday (in an eight hour span) and they will have to do it again on Saturday.
Salt Lake lost to Wallace State in the Winner’s Bracket final 8 to 1 late Friday night. Wallace State finished in third place last year, too back-to-back second place finishes in 2009 and 2010 and won a championship in 2008 so they have been on a run for at least six years.
But, before Pima can play for the National Championship, they must get past Salt Lake first. Salt Lake has finished in second place two years in a row.
Wallace State 8, Pima 6
Yvette Alvarez (Sahuarita) hit a solo homer in the first inning to put the Aztecs up early but Wallace State scored one run in the second and six runs in the fifth to pull away. Pima fought back with three runs in the sixth when Alejandra Ortiz (Tucson High) hit a solo home run and Victoria Mariscal (Douglas) drove in Aubre Carpenter (Sabino) and Shawna Comeaux (Sabino). Ortiz finished the game 2 for 4 with three RBIs and a run scored.
Pima 13, Lake Land 3 (5)
Alvarez hit a two-run homer as part of a three-run first inning. She also had an RBI double in the second inning finishing 2 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Cynthia Pelayo (Vision) hit a two-run RBI double in Pima’s five-run fourth inning. She finished 3 for 3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Mariscal went 2 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs scored while Carpenter finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Comeaux was 3 for 4 with two runs scored.
Pima 6, Butler 3
Pima struck in the second inning when Ortiz hit a two-run home run to make it 2-0. In the third inning, Alvarez hit a two-run homer of her own to make it 4-0. Danielle Stensby (Buena) hit an RBI single in the fourth inning to bring in Carpenter to make it 5-0.
Butler scored a run in the top of the sixth but the Aztecs responded in the bottom of the inning when Gemma Contreras (Salpointe Catholic) hit an RBI single to score Mariscal. Butler scored two runs in the seventh but a flyout to Contreras ended the game.
Alvarez pitched a complete-game giving up three runs (one earned) off 10 hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
Game summaries via news release.