Ironwood Ridge senior Emily Robinson wasn’t ready to let a championship get away from her once again.
Robinson saved her best for last, pitching all 37 inning in the postseason on the way to helping the Nighthawks win the Division II state title for their first championship in program history. Robinson and the Nighthawks had played in two championship games before, losing both times.
Robinson struck out four, gave up five hits and retired 10 of the last 11 batters she faced in a 2-1 win over Canyon del Oro in the Division II state final. The four-year player capped off her stellar career by going 19-3 with a 1.20 ERA.
This was one of Southern Arizona’s best softball seasons in recent years, as proven by tow local teams playing in the championship game, so there were several other players considered for the honor.
CDO’s senior trio of Samantha Netting, Makenzie Sullivan and Rebecca Ziegler all put up some huge numbers in helping the Dorados reach the state finals for the third time in the last four seasons.
Sophomore pitcher Lyana Waddell went 27-2 with a 1.51 ERA and helped San Manuel repeat as Division IV state champions as Empire senior Kelsey Smith, last sping’s Player of the Year, had another stellar year as the Ravens advanced to the Division III semifinals.
Sabino ace Ashlee Skillings, a senior, went 18-7 with a 2.05 ERA and 209 strikeouts, helping the Sabercats reach the second round of the Division II state playoffs while Sahuaro’s Gina Snyder went 11-1 with a 1.21 ERA striking out 134 batters in 69-2/3 innings.
Nogales junior Emerald Grijalva and Tanque Verde’s Kellye Springstead were two of the best two-way players in the state. However, Robinson’s performance throughout the season stands as the best in Southern Arizona.