PHOENIX - Sahuarita coach Chris Fanning will remember this night.
After 19 years of coaching softball, Fanning walked away with his second state championship when his top-seeded Mustangs beat No. 3 Peoria Liberty 10-6 in the 4A-II championship game Saturday at Rose Mofford Sports Complex.
"We went out in style," Fanning said. "It's been an incredible ride with a great coaching staff and incredible players. You can't say enough about them, especially the seven seniors on this team."
The Mustangs jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first, sparked by sophomore third baseman Sigourney Sanchez's two-run single. After Lyzette Creason scored on a passed ball, Sanchez came around on an Alexus Torrez groundout.
Sanchez had a huge night for the Mustangs, finishing the game with two home runs and accounting for six of Sahuarita's 10 runs.
"In the beginning, I felt really nervous," she said. "But after that first hit, I felt like I would be on, and I felt more calm. As a team, though, we played great, and we stayed strong when it counted."
Sahuarita was able to hold off surges from Liberty throughout the game. Liberty catcher Jaclyn Jayo hit a solo home run in the third to cut the Mustang lead to three. But Sahuarita scored two more in the inning to make the score 6-1.
Up 10-3 going into the seventh, Sahuarita had to hold off one last push from Liberty when it scored three runs with only one out.
After getting Taylor Macy to fly out, Mustangs pitcher Yvette Alvarez struck out Makayla Pixler - and the celebration was on.
"It felt so good to get this win for Coach Fanning," Sanchez said. "We showed him we were his team this year. I'd like to think we are his favorite."