Sahuarita softball star Yvette Alvarez was cruising along in the Mustangs 5-0 win over Amphi on Thursday night.
The sophomore struck out eight of the first nine Amphi hitters while trying to pick up her 15th win of the year. Then, in the top of the fourth inning with Sahuarita at the plate, Alvarez hit a screamer to third base. As she reached first base, she collided with Amphi’s Catie Hartwig. Alvarez collapsed, clutching her left knee.
“We will have our trainer look at it (Friday) and see what kind of stability she has and go from there,” said Sahuarita coach Chris Fanning. “It’s way too early to speculate, but like I told the girls, it’s time for the team to come together and see what we are made of.”
In what was believed to be an anterior cruciate ligament injury, , Fanning would not speculate on the extent of the injury.
“She could be out two days, two weeks or two months. I’m not sure,” Fanning said. “Like I said, it’s too early to say what it is.”
If Alvarez is lost for the year, Sahuarita will have some pretty big shoes to fill. Entering Thursday’s game, Alvarez boasted an 0.91 ERA with a 124 strikeouts in 91 innings pitched. She also led the team in hitting with a .426 batting average, six home runs and 27 RBIs.
“Teams have injuries all the time and it’s an opportunity for girls to step up and see what they’re made of,” Fanning said.
Alex Orozco came in for Alvarez and pitched 1 1/3 inning, giving up one hit while striking out one to earn the win. Lyzette Creason pitched the final 2 2/3 innings, recording four strikeouts.
The Mustangs got on the board first in the fifth when Abrie Bustamante scored on Amphi catcher’s Maritza Vargas’ error. Sahuarita added a pair of runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
“We put together probably our best defensive game of the year and down the stretch we had a couple of errors that cost us some runs,” said Amphi coach Damon Lovato about the three errors the Panthers committed in the game.
Cienega 20, Catalina Foothills 2 (5 innings): At Foothills, Cienega was still riding the euphoria of upsetting nationally ranked Canyon del Oro 1-0 on Monday.
In the team’s first game since the CDO win, Cienega put up 20 runs in five innings, including erupting for a 15-run fourth inning.
Junior pitcher Alexa Cash picked up the win and also hit a grand slam in the win.
CDO No. 2 in national poll
Canyon del Oro’s softball team is ranked No. 2 in the first National Fastpitch Coaches Association/USA TODAY Top 25 high school softball poll of the season. The poll was released Thursday.
CDO (16-1) is also No. 2 in the most recent ESPN Rise Fab 50 poll, trailing No. 1 Sacramento (Calif.) Sheldon High School in both polls.
The only other Arizona team in the NFCA poll is Class 5A Division I power Mesa Red Mountain at No. 7. CDO is a 4A-I school.
High School Sports Editor Geoff Grammer contributed to this article.