A complete game, three-hit gem by starting pitcher Sati Santa Cruz and a two-run home run by A.J. Santate handed No. 11 Sahuarita a 4-2 upset of No. 6 Payson on Friday at Surprise Sports Complex.
The victory sends the Mustangs (17-11-1) to the Division III quarterfinals where they will play No. 3 Phoenix Northwest Christian on today at 11 a.m. in Surprise.
“(Santa Cruz) was able to keep the train going tonight,” coach Sam Gelardi said
about his junior, who had 13 strikeouts in the game, his second straight double-digit strikeout performance.
Sahuarita is winners of nine of its last 10 games, including three straight.
No. 5 Palo Verde 13, No. 12 Snowflake 3: At Surprise, starter Tyler Fallwell and the Titans faced early trouble before settling in for a run-rule victory in the fifth inning to advance to the quarterfinals to play No. 4 Page at 11 a.m. today. Coach Jim Mentz said the early deficit was like getting “socked in the mouth” but the team fought back, racking up 11 hits in the process.
No. 16 Scottsdale Christian 6, No. 1 Bisbee 0: At Surprise, the top-ranked Pumas picked a bad time for their bats to go cold as Bisbee’s seven-game winning streak was snapped by the Eagles. Starting pitcher Oscar Estrada (7-1) suffered his first loss of the season and coach Mike Frosco said the team was unable to capitalize on “plenty of opportunities.”
Division IV baseball
No. 1 Desert Christian 5, No. 16 Bagdad 2: At Goodyear Baseball Complex, the defending champions struggled at times but were able to pull out the victory and advance to the quarterfinals to play No. 9 Glendale Joy Christian at 11 a.m. today. Coach Grant Hopkins said the team didn’t play all that well, but the playoffs are “survive and move on.”
No. 2 Pusch Ridge Christian 10, No. 18 Chandler Prep 0: At Goodyear, after a leadoff double by Chandler Prep, Lions starter Mike Doty dialed in for the complete game shutout. Pusch Ridge will meet No. 7 Tempe Prep today at 11 a.m. in the quarterfinals, a side it beat 10-0 in the second game of the season.
No. 3 San Manuel 18, No. 14 St. Johns 0: At Goodyear, the Miners run-ruled St. Johns to advance to the quarterfinals where they will meet No. 6 Ray today at 11 a.m. Coach Steve Elmore said it was San Manuel’s best overall performance of the season.
Division III softball
No. 7 Empire 10, No. 23 Phoenix Bourgade Catholic 0: At Rose Mofford Sports Complex in Phoenix, the Ravens took advantage of twelve hits, including three doubles, to advance to the semifinals. Empire will face No. 2 Winslow today at 11:30 a.m.
No. 14 Benson 7, No. 3 Show Low 6: At Rose Mofford, the Bobcats scored two runs in the seventh inning and then held on for a one-run victory against the Cougars. Twelve hits for coach Manny Ellsworth’s side was the key to the win. Benson will play Tanque Verde at 11:30 a.m. today, a team it lost to 7-0 earlier in the season.
No. 6 Tanque Verde 2, No. 11 Mohave Valley River Valley 0: At Rose Mofford, starter Kellye Springstead limited River Valley to two hits and struck out 12 to help her side move on to the quarterfinals. After not playing since last Tuesday, coach Chris Voutsas said his side was a little “rough around the edges” but that River Valley never really posed a threat at the plate.
Division IV softball
No. 2 San Manuel 19, No. 18 St. Gregory 0: At Rose Mofford, juniors Alyssa Cuellar and Felicia Medina powered the defending state champions past the Hawks and into a quarterfinals matchup with Desert Christian today at 9:30 a.m. Cuellar had two home runs, Medina added another and starting pitcher Lyana Waddell limited St. Gregory to one hit.
No. 7 Desert Christian 4, No. 23 Winkelman Hayden 3: At Rose Mofford, a sixth-inning RBI double by Alex McCale put the Eagles in front, and they were able to hang on and advance to play San Manuel in the quarterfinals. Junior Lauren Radtke struck out 10 batters and coach Bob Vance said she played “phenomenal” as Radtke also had a double at the plate.
No. 5 Superior 5, No. 12 Bisbee 0: At Rose Mofford, the Pumas allowed four unearned runs and were unable to manufacture anything at the plate as they fell to the Panthers. Despite the loss for Bisbee, coach Felix Dognino said the team went above his expectations this season.
No. 3 Phoenix Veritas Prep 9, No. 14 Pusch Ridge Christian 3: At Rose Mofford, the Lions struggled to get timely hits as Veritas Prep broke away to knock a young Pusch Ridge side out of the playoffs. The Lions loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning, but the next three hitters struck out, a theme consistent throughout the afternoon. Pusch Ridge almost brings back the whole team next season, with 13 underclassmen on the 16-player roster.