(Tucson, AZ) Bill McCulloch
These two familiar opponents were set to face each other for the fourth time this season, no secrets just two talent stacked teams.
One week ago today, Salpointe won a closely contested game 5-4 at this same Pima Aztec Softball Field.
Today was a dry hot sunny day as some in the stands believed that this should have been the 4A State Championship game instead of the winner having to face Glendale Cactus which is ranked below both Canyon Del Oro and Salpointe Catholic.
The Lady Dorados wanted to put the pressure on early as they had two runners in scoring position in the top of the first inning.
Leadoff hitter Elessa Bonstrom hit a deep fly that was lost in the afternoon sun and was sitting on third base when Hope Banales hit a sharp ground ball to shortstop that handcuffed her and CDO had runners at the corners with no outs.
A come backer to the Salpointe pitcher Alyssa Aguilar by A.J. Kaiser held the Bonstrom at third but moved Banales into scoring position at second.
A fly ball to left field going sideways away from the plate was caught for the second out, but third base coach Kevin Glynn held the runner at third.
A passed ball while Mia Campos was at the plate bounced right back to the Lancer catcher coupled with Bonstrom getting a late jump was tagged out at the plate to end the threat. Little did the Dorados know that would be their golden opportunity of the contest.
Aguilar had her best stuff as she would face only three batters more than the minimum after the first inning, keeping CDO’s big hitters frustrated.
Dorado pitcher, sophomore Amaya Legarra was on point setting down the first nine Salpointe batters.
The bottom of the fourth is when the Lancer bats woke up as Senior Yanira Acuña led off with a walk and was safe at second when Head Coach Amy Rocha’s daughter Malea Rocha scorched a grounder off the glove of the shortstop for an infield hit.
A sacrifice bunt moved both runners over to second and third followed by another infield RBI single by Diana Montaño as the Lancers drew first blood 1-0.
The fifth and sixth inning, Aguilar set down CDO in order establishing further dominance while taking the wind out of the Dorado’s sail.
In the bottom half of the sixth inning Rocha lead off with a single to shallow left field. After a sacrifice bunt putting the runner at second, the sun again played a factor when Giselle Muñoz’s deep fly went over the head of the center fielder scoring Rocha with an insurance run and lead 2-0.
Canyon Del Oro’s final at bat got the tying run to the plate after a two out walk, but Mikayla Santa Cruz lined out to third to end the game.
The Lancer advance to the State Finals at ASU’s Farrington Stadium Tuesday the 15th to face Glendale Cactus for the title.
Win or lose, the Lady Lancers will be the guests on the 520 Sports Talk Show Wednesday May 16th at Frog & Firkin located in University Main Gate Square at 7 pm.