Pima just misses out on postseason

Photo by Raymond Suarez

By KYLE MCDANIEL

Due to a production error, Softball was not printed in the last issue. 

Pima is going to miss the regional playoffs this year, which hasn’t happened often over the last 16 years, as they finished 35-23 on the season. The Aztecs had three players selected to the third team  All-ACACC Conference, freshman Paige Adair, freshman Alese Casper and sophomore Sierra Gentry.

April 28 (A): Game 1: PCC 2, South Mountain CC 6, Game 2: PCC 9, South Mountain 24 (F/5)

In Game 1, Pima would close the gap to 1 run on two occasions, but it wasn’t enough. Freshman Maria Vanezza Caldera went 2 for 3 in the game. Sophomore Sierra Gentry took the loss, giving up 6 earned runs on 8 hits. She finished 5-7 on the season. 

The Cougars scored all 23 runs in the second and third innings, giving Pima no hope at victory. 

Sophomore Chandler Arviso went 3 for 3 with 2 RBI, while freshman Mya Cabral also went 3 for 3 scoring a run. Sophomore Marissa Moreno finished with the loss and ended her season 0-2. 

April 24 (H): Game 1: PCC 4, Paradise Valley CC 8, Game 2: PCC 19, Paradise Valley CC 22

Playing their final home games, the sophomores didn’t go out the way they would have hoped, losing both games. However, the latter of the two games was a barn-burner, as both teams combined for 41 runs.

With Pima losing 4-3 heading into the final inning, the Pumas from Paradise Valley decided to end Pima’s dreams of a victory after scoring 4 runs. The Aztecs would get 1 back, but it wasn’t enough.

Sophomores Alyssa Smith and Megan Flores went a combined 4 for 8 with 3 RBI. Sierra Gentry pitched a complete game yet still took the loss. She allowed 4 earned runs on 14 hits, and struck out 1. 

Losing 18-3 in the fourth inning, Pima stood no chance at winning, or did they? Scoring 16 runs over the next two innings gave the Aztecs hope as they were only losing 19-20. 

Sierra Gentry went 5 for 5 with 3 RBI and a triple shy of the cycle. Flores, freshman Durazo-Corday, Arviso, Cabral and freshman Gomez went a combined 17 for 26, with 13 RBI and 12 runs scored. Moreno was the losing pitcher in the game. 

April 17 (A): Game 1: PCC 4, Phoenix College 13 (F/5), Game 2: PCC 7, Phoenix College 8

The No. 6 team in the nation took Pima to school on Tuesday afternoon after they swept both games. 

The Bears of Phoenix College scored early and late, plating 5 runs in both the first and fifth inning, which helped mercy rule the Aztecs. Pima did score some runs, but it wasn’t enough.

Freshman Alese Casper went 2 for 3 with a home run and an RBI. She would also take the loss on the day pitching 4⅔ innings, allowing 13 earned runs on 15 hits, while striking out 2. Maria Vanezza Caldera went 2 for 2 with 2 RBI.

Winning 7-3 in the seventh inning of Game 2, Pma was in prime position to split the series, but Phoenix had other ideas as they scored 5 runs to take the game 8-7.

Sierra Gentry went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs, while Caldera went 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs as well. Sierra Gentry also took the loss on the mound as she pitched 6 innings, allowing 7 earned runs on 10 hits. She also walked 6 and struck out 1.

April 14 (A): Game 1: PCC 1, Chandler-Gilbert CC 0, Game 2: PCC 17, Chandler-Gilbert CC 14 (F/9)

Coach Armando Quiroz picked up his 500th win after the Aztecs won the first game. 

“My thoughts go to all the great players that have come through our program and to all the great assistants I have been blessed with,” said Quiroz, speaking after the achievement to Raymond Suarez. “To be able to coach and coach with my daughter Rebekah is a dream experience.” 

In Game 1 it was a pitcher’s duel from beginning to end. Then, in Game 2, it was who’s going to tap out first as the teams combined for 31 runs in a nine-inning game.

Pima was fortunate to come away with the victory in Game 1, as Cabral scored the only run of the game on a throwing error in the fourth inning after Sierra Gentry hit a double. 

Getting the victory was Alese Casper after she threw a complete Game 1 hit shutout, while striking out 5 in the process. 

Where to begin with Game 2? The Aztecs jumped out to a 10-0 lead after two innings, but the Coyotes didn’t give up, and slowly reeled in Pima, eventually taking the lead. 

Down a run heading into the final inning, the Aztecs needed a spark, and they got it after freshman Mackenzie Judge and Ariana Gomez hit back-to-back singles. Those were followed by Casper’s double to drive them both in. 

In the ninth inning, Alyssa Smith would hit an RBI single to give Pima the lead for good.

Casper picked up the victory again pitching 6⅔ innings, giving up 4 earned runs, on 7 hits, striking out 5.

 

 

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