HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: IRONWOOD RIDGE 3, CANYON DEL ORO 0

I-Ridge ace hurls milestone masterpiece

McAdams blanks CDO for school's 200th win; teams may meet again
2012-04-04T00:00:00Z 2014-07-02T09:31:23Z I-Ridge ace hurls milestone masterpieceMichael J. Craven Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 04, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Ironwood Ridge hit a softball trifecta on Tuesday afternoon with a 3-0 road win over archrival Canyon del Oro.

As if a shutout over a top-tier, previously unbeaten team in power ranking games wasn't enough, the Nighthawks also achieved revenge from a one-run loss earlier in the year and did so while notching their 200th win in program history.

Not bad for a couple of hours' work.

Ironwood Ridge senior ace Makayla McAdams was stellar in a complete-game performance, allowing zero runs on five singles.

Offensively, a second-inning RBI groundout by senior Jordan Rocker and a two-run homer by Alexis Clinton in the fifth were all that would be necessary with McAdams in the circle.

"Makayla pitched really well," CDO catcher Samantha Nettling said. "I've played against her for many years and she pitched really well. We didn't adjust to her as well in this game as when we played them at their place."

That last meeting, a 12-11 CDO win on Feb. 28, was a far cry from Tuesday's offensive snoozer. McAdams pitched both games but has clearly hit her stride at this point in the season. Defense was also more of an issue for the Nighthawks five weeks ago - and something coach Randy Amway has been stressing.

"We've done a lot of hard work in practice, and it shows in a game like this," McAdams said. "It's definitely been a lot better. We've been working our tails off, and we've been focusing on our errors, and we've gotten much, much better."

After the game, Ironwood Ridge's players presented Amway and his assistants with autographed team photos in commemoration of the 200-win milestone.

This is the 10th varsity season for Ironwood Ridge, which averages about 30 games a year. In other words, the Nighthawks have won twice as often as they've lost and have done it year after year.

"To sustain it over a long period of time, I think that's good," said Amway, who's been running the show since Day 1. "You're not going to win a state title every year, but we've played for two, been in two semis, finished fifth twice and got eighth once. We've always been there."

The Dorados and Nighthawks could easily find themselves "there" again at the end of this season. Defending 4A-I state champion CDO (18-4, 8-1 in power ranking games) and 5A-II state runner-up Ironwood Ridge (15-4, 7-2) are top contenders in the newly formed Division II.

No games between the rivals remain on the schedule, however. If they see one another again, it would be in the postseason.

"I believe that we'll see them (Nighthawks) again," CDO's Nettling said. "We're the two best teams in our division, in my mind."

She won't get an argument from Ironwood Ridge.

"We'll see them (Dorados) later on in the season," McAdams said.

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