By JASON WEIR
The No. 9 Pima Community College softball team (19-8, 13-5 in ACCAC) received national recognition for the second time when freshman Bailey Critchlow was named NJCAA Division II National Player of the Week for Feb. 22-28.
The award was her third for the week. She was also named both ACCAC Division II Player and Pitcher of the week. During that period, Critchlow went 11 of 16 with nine RBIs from the plate and allowed just one run from the mound.
Head coach Armando Quiroz called Critchlow a true five-tool player.
“She is one of the hardest working young ladies to ever play at Pima,” Quiroz said. “She is a tremendous hitter, pitcher and defensive infielder.”
Critchlow is 10-3 with an ERA of 3.85 and 38 strikeouts. She is batting .450 with 29 RBIs, two home runs and six stolen bases.
Quiroz said the awards mark the first time in his nine years at Pima that the team received two NJCAA Player/Pitcher of the Week honors.
Sophomore Odalis Orduno was NJCAA Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 8-14. Orduno pitched in three of the four games that week, winning two and saving one. She allowed one run and stuck out five in her three appearances.
“She has become one of the best starting pitchers in the league through perseverance and grit,” Quiroz said. “Ferocious competitor who brings it to the park on her every start.”
Orduno is 8-4 with an ERA of 3.72 and has struck out 35.
A March 8 doubleheader scheduled against Arizona Western College was postponed and will be rescheduled.
Host Eastern Arizona College was not kind to the Aztecs in the first game of a March 5 doubleheader. The Gila Monsters’ offense exploded early and often in a 20-3 five inning run-ruled win.
After scoring five runs in the first and second innings, Eastern Arizona put Pima away with 10 runs in the fourth inning.
In the second game, Critchlow pitched a complete 6-1 victory. Pima fell behind 1-0 but a third inning capped by Critchlow’s RBI double proved to be the only runs Pima needed. Critchlow struck out six and did not allow an earned run.
Pima hosted Central Arizona College on March 1. The Aztecs earned a five-inning 12-4 run-rule victory in the first game.
Pima freshman Gabriella Gorosave’s solo home run in the second inning tied the game at two. Pima freshman Margarita Corona hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 9-2. Orduno allowed one earned run on seven hits through five innings to earn the win.
PCC won the second game 8-3. Corona’s second home run of the day in the third innings ended a tie and gave Pima a 3-1 lead.
Critchlow helped the Aztecs extend their lead to 6-1 when she hit a three-run RBI double in the fourth. She pitched a complete game, allowing three runs on eight hits.
March 11: @ Deanna Mauer Softball Classic, Central Arizona College, vs. Howard College, noon, vs. El Paso CC, 2 p.m.
March 12: @ Deanna Mauer Softball Classic, Central Arizona College, vs. Lake Region State College-N.D., noon, vs. Midland College, 2 p.m.
March 15: @ Chandler-Gilbert CC, doubleheader, 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
March 17: North Iowa Area CC, Lincoln Regional Park (Tucson), doubleheader, 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
March 19: Scottsdale CC, West Campus, doubleheader, noon, 2 p.m.
March 22: @ Yavapai College, doubleheader, 1 p.m., 3 p.m.