The Pima Community College softball team (46-17) defeated No. 1 seed Central Arizona College twice to claim the Region I, Division I Championship on Saturday at Central Arizona College in Coolidge. This is back-to-back championships for the Aztecs as they move on to the NJCAA National Tournament in St. George, Utah on May 16-18.
For the second year in a row, Sahuarita graduate Yvette Alvarez was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament after pitching 21 innings, going 3-0 and earning two complete-game shutouts.
Alvarez got two groundouts and struck out Central’s Jessica Loiacano, the ACCAC Player of the Year, to close out the final game as the Aztecs won 6-5. She got the win (29-12) after giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
Down 2-0 in the third inning, the Aztecs responded when Alejandra Ortiz (Tucson High) hit her first RBI double of the game bringing around Cynthia Pelayo (Vision). Ortiz later scored on an RBI single by Shawna Comeaux (Sabino) to tie it at 2-2.
In the fourth inning, Pelayo gave Pima the lead with a two-run RBI triple. Two batters later, Ortiz hit her second RBI double to plate Pelayo and give the Aztecs a 5-2 lead. Central cut it to 5-4 after the bottom of the fourth but Pima came right back in the fifth when Victoria Mariscal (Douglas) RBI double to make it 6-4.
Central would score once more in the sixth inning as Pima was able to hold off the rally. Comeaux finished 4 for 4 with an RBI, a run scored and a double. Pelayo went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, two runs scored and a triple. Ortiz went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, a run scored and two doubles while Mariscal finished 3 for 4 with an RBI and a double.
Pima beat Central in the day’s first game 6-0. Alvarez got the win (28-12) giving up eight hits with four strikeouts and one walk in her complete-game shutout. Central loaded the bases with one out on two occasions but Pima held them in check. Noelle Medina (San Manuel) and Mariscal each went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Pelayo went 1 for 3 with an RBI, a run scored and a triple. Ortiz finished 1 for 3 with an RBI double in the seventh inning and a run scored.
“They turned it on and caught fire,” Pima coach Armando Quiroz said of Pima winning 19 of its last 20 via news release. The sophomores willed us there and they’re not done. They want to win the whole thing.”
The championship game victory gave coach Quiroz his 300th victory as Pima’s head coach. He said, “To get 300 on our way to Nationals is special.” He has a career record of 300-71-1 in almost six seasons at Pima.
Armando Quiroz coaching record:
Flowing Wells: 1999-2005: 161-42-1
Eastern New Mexico: 2006-2007: 46-37
Pima: 2007-Present: 300-71-1
High School Championships
2002 Flowing Wells
2000 Flowing Wells
1999 Flowing Wells
Portions via news release.