More than enough preps to watch as regular season ends, state playoffs begin

2014-04-28T00:00:00Z 2014-04-28T13:22:26Z More than enough preps to watch as regular season ends, state playoffs beginBy Daniel Gaona Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

This week would be a perfect time to have a body double – perhaps even a triple.

With the baseball and softball state playoffs opening up Saturday morning and the championship rounds of the individual tennis tournaments that afternoon, it will be one of those days you wish you could be three places at once.

Before the weekend arrives, however, there is still a lot to be decided. The regular season for baseball and softball teams comes to an end Wednesday, a day after the tennis team tournaments begin. Additionally, the individual tennis tournaments resume Friday with the rescheduled third round and quarterfinals for Division II and the quarterfinals for Division III.

Here’s a look at eight things to watch over the next three days:

ToDAY

Baseball: Palo Verde has a chance to make a big statement today when it travels to Canyon del Oro for a 4 p.m. game. The second-ranked Titans will be going for their seventh straight win and a chance to move into the top spot in the Division III rankings. Meanwhile, the Dorados, ranked 16th in Division II, will be trying to win their fourth straight and take some momentum into Tuesday’s season finale at No. 10 Catalina Foothills.

Softball: Having won three straight games, the Desert View softball team is in position to qualify for the Division II state tournament. The No. 22 Jaguars play at Tucson today at 6 p.m. and close the regular season at Sierra Vista Buena on Tuesday. Win both and they should be in. It’d be a fitting farewell for longtime coach Bert Otero, who led Desert View to the 4A state title in 2000 and is retiring after this season.

TUESDAY

Baseball: Sunnyside, ranked 12th in Division II as of Sunday, still has an outside chance of moving into the top eight to earn a first-round bye. The Blue Devils travel to Rincon/University today to face former coach Ernie Palomarez and then host No. 3 Sahuaro on Tuesday at 6 p.m. By winning both those games, Sunnyside might not have to play again for a week.

Softball: Division III powers Empire and Tanque Verde have gone a combined 31-2 this season and could very well meet deep in the state playoffs next month. If that’s the case, this week will be a dress rehearsal when No. 4 Empire hosts the seventh-ranked Hawks at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Boys tennis: Nogales, led by brothers Francisco and Alexis Ton, is in the team state tournament for the 10th straight season. The fifth-seeded Apaches have won eight of their last nine matches and host No. 12 Prescott Valley Bradshaw Mountain in first-round action at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Nogales was also the No. 5 seed last spring but lost 5-4 in the first round.

WEDNESDAY

Baseball: St. Gregory has won eight straight games and is in a position to make the Division IV state playoffs with two games to go. However, the No 29 Hawks almost need a miracle to do so. They host second-ranked Pusch Ridge Christian at 4 p.m. Wednesday and a win there could be just enough to sneak them in. But it won’t be easy, the Lions’ lone regular-season losses both came against top-ranked Desert Christian.

Softball: Sixth-ranked Sabino is in line to have a first-round bye but it has to win two tough games to hold onto it. The Sabercats host No. 5 Ironwood Ridge on Tuesday and then play at second-ranked Cienega today at 5 p.m. The Sabercats also played No. 3 Canyon del Oro last week so, if anything, they’ll be more than playoff-ready.

Girl tennis: The Ironwood Ridge girls are trying to reach the state finals for the third straight season this spring. The sixth-seeded Nighthawks will open up the Division II state tournament against No. 11 Yuma Cibola at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Then on Friday and Saturday, junior Kelsey Brown will be trying to get back to the championship match of the doubles tournament, with Allison Knox this time.

Contact high school sports coordinator Daniel Gaona at 807-7761 or dgaona@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @DanielGaona13

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