PHOENIX — It took an extra inning, but the No. 2 San Manuel softball team successfully defended its Division IV state title, defeating No. 9 Phoenix Christian Valley 5-4 on Saturday.
“We just don’t quit,” Miners coach Deanne Brewer said. “They just didn’t give up on themselves or each other.”
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, junior third baseman Alyssa Cuellar, usually a power hitter, took a different approach, driving in the game’s winning run on a chopper up the middle at Rose Mofford Sports Complex.
“I just had to wait for my pitch,” Cuellar said.
The Miners were down to their last out, trailing 4-2 in the bottom on the seventh. Things were looking bleak.
But they caught a break, scoring a pair of runs on a passed ball to push the game into extra innings.
San Manuel sophomore ace Lyana Waddell recorded two of her seven strikeouts in the eighth to give her team a chance.
“I wanted this game,” Waddell said. “It came from the heart.”
With the win, Waddell finished the season with a record of 26-2.