Three days after Nogales senior Brianna Urquidez struck out a school-record 19 batters in a one-hit shutout, the senior is still hitting her spots.
However, the Apaches lost to Sierra Vista Buena 5-2 in six innings Thursday at Cherry Field on the second day of the Badger Invitational.
Urquidez struck out three batters but did not receive run support. Buena pitcher Cindy Chon, a junior, fanned seven batters, allowed two hits and did not give up an earned run over six innings.
"I was hitting my spots really well," said Urquidez, who allowed eight hits. "I've been working on that in practice. I was relying heavily on my rise ball today."
Nogales' offense stalled and could not help the senior on the mound, leaving nine runners on base over the course of the game.
"We need to start hitting more because our offense killed us," said Urquidez.
Nogales pitching coach Rene Grijalva Jr. has helped Urquidez with control issues and conditioning, and is starting to see the hard work pay off.
"When we first started, she could go hard for about three or four innings," Grijalva Jr. said. "I think she pitched one of her best games (Thursday), even though it was a loss, because of her change-up.
"Her change-up was there for strikes, and she kept the batters off balance."
In her past four starts, Urquidez has 34 strikeouts.
Nogales coach Rene Grijalva Sr. noted Urquidez was overpowering batters in the team's game against Rio Rico on Monday.
"She was throwing the ball around 62-63" mph, he said. "She was working her fastball and hitting her spots. She had a great game and a school record."