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Gershman earns All-American honors

Gershman earns All-American honors



Pima Community College men’s basketball sophomore forward Ben “Murphy” Gershman was named a Second-Team NJCAA II All American.

Gershman started in 27 of 31 games this season, leading the Aztecs to a 18-13 overall record, posting 20 double-doubles averaging 24.4 points and 12 rebounds per game.

Gershman was named NJCAA Player of the Week once, and ACCAC Conference Player of the Week three times.

He is only the fourth PCC player to have earned the honor and the first since Darrell King in 1991.

In a 2013 interview for the Aztec Press, fellow teammate Maurice Webb said Gershman  “is the leader of our team in every sense. If there’s someone you should look up to or someone you’re trying to emulate on or off the court, it’s Ben Gershman.”

Gershman takes his responsibility as a leader seriously.

“Leadership is being able to take responsibility when things go bad,” Gershman said. “Taking everything on your shoulders and say, ‘you know, its my fault. I’ll take responsibility and find a way to get better next time.’”

Gershman started his Pima career at age 24 and did not expect to find the amount of success he found at Pima or to be enjoying the classroom aspect as much as he has.

“My advice to student athletes is to work as hard on the academics as you do on the athletics,” Gershman said. “Don’t allow yourself to work less than 100 percent in the classroom.”

Gershman signed his national letter of intent to play for Colorado School of Mines in November.

“They have a great basketball program and had an exceptional year,” Gershman said. “As an aspiring engineer, there’s really no better choice for me.”

In a recent Arizona Daily Star article, Gershman referred to the Pima gym banner displaying All-American achievers.

“One of my goals was to get my name on that banner,” he said, “and to get it is an amazing feeling.”

 Murphy Gershman achieved All-American status in his second and final last season at Pima. (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

Murphy Gershman achieved All-American status in his second and final last season at Pima. (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

Softball: Pima sweeps No. 2 Phoenix College

Softball: Pima sweeps No. 2 Phoenix College



The Pima Community College softball team (33-9, 28-8 in ACCAC) have preformed great recently winning their last six games.

The Aztecs won a two game sweep at No. 2 Phoenix College on April 7.  Freshman Christine Olivas led the Aztecs going 4 for 6 from the plate and added four RBIs on the day. Freshman Alexis Ayala had a dynamic performance going 4 for 7 at the plate with three RBIs, a run scored and a two-run homer.

The Aztecs took a close 9-8 win in the first game fending off a late surge by Phoenix College.  Pima started the game with an impressive first inning scoring seven runs.

Pima took grabbed a 6-4 victory in the second game. Freshman Odalis Orduno (9-4) grabbed the win pitching seven innings throwing two strikeouts.

With the win Pima handed Phoenix College their first sweep of the season breaking their 22-game win streak.

The Aztecs scored 21 runs in its doubleheader sweep against South Mountain Community College April 4 at the West Campus.

Freshman Sierra Cuestas finished the day 4 for 6 with six RBIs and three runs scored while

Sophomore Taylor Fabing went 3 for 5 with five RBIs and two runs scored.

Sophomore pitcher Alexis Alfonso (19-3) picked up two wins on the mound.

Cuestas had a bases clearing three-run RBI hit and a solo home run as the Aztecs won the first game 11-3.

Teammate Cuestas was 2 for 3 with four RBIs and two runs scored while Fabing was 2 for 2 with three RBIs and a run scored.

Freshman Araceli Peralta had an RBI single in the 2nd inning and went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.

Freshman Jackie Hernandez was 3 for 4 with an RBI single in the 4th and two runs scored.

Alfonso picked gave up three runs on six hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

The Aztecs beat the Cougars 10-2 in the second game.

Cuestas hit an RBI single in the 2nd inning and an RBI double in the 4th. Fabing added a two-run homer in the 4th.

Fabing finished 1 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Olivas was 1 for 2 with two RBIs.

Freshman Kalynn Martinez was 3 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored while freshman Alexis Ayala went 2 for 2 with an RBI triple in the fourth and a run scored.

Alfonso got her 19th win as she gave up two runs on seven hits with one strikeout.

Pima got back on track March 31 as it snapped a three-game losing streak with a sweep at Glendale Community College.

Alfonso threw two shutouts on the day pitching 10 innings.

The Aztecs gave the Gauchos a huge blow out in the first game.

Pima beats Glendale CC in the first game 10-0.

Sophomore Keona Hunter hit a two-run RBI single in the 2nd inning.

Fabing was 2 for 2 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Martinez finished 2 for 3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Alfonso pitched five innings giving up five hits with six strikeouts and no walks.

The Aztecs took a 5-0 victory in the second game.

The Aztecs’ offense started off quick again in the early innings as they scored three runs in each the 1st and 3rd innings.

Freshman Christine Olivas hit a two-run RBI triple in the 1st while Alfonso hit a two-run home run in the 3rd inning.

Alfonso finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs and a run scored.

Hernandez went 3 for 3 with three runs scored and an RBI while Martinez was 1 for 2 with an RBI.

Pima lost two conference games on the road March 28 at Mesa Community College.

In their first game Pima lost 9-5.

Peralta finished the day 6 for 8 with three runs scored, two walks and a triple.

In their second game Pima lost 10-8 as the Aztecs rally was halted in the 7th inning.

Alfonso gave up eight runs on 11 hits with three walks.

Pima stranded 14 runners on base. Alfonso hit a solo home run in the 6th inning.

Freshman pitcher Odalis Ordu gave up 10 runs on 14 hits with one strikeout and two walks.

Pg13-Softball-Taylor Fabing

Sophomore Taylor Fabing holds third base at an April 4 game against South Mountain Community College on Pima’s home field. (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics.)



April 9: @ Chandler-Gilbert CC, Chandler, 1 p.m.

April 11: @ Paradise Valley CC, noon

April 14: El Paso CC,

West Campus, 1 p.m.

April 18: Central Arizona College, West Campus, noon

April 21: @ Eastern Arizona College, Thatcher, noon


Baseball: Aztecs strike out for six straight games

Baseball: Aztecs strike out for six straight games



The Pima Community College baseball team (21-20, 14-16 in ACCAC) is on a six game losing streak as they struggle to find their stride with continuously inconsistent play.

In Yuma, the Aztecs lost a pair of games against Arizona Western College on April 4.

In a slow, low-scoring first game Pima took the loss 1-0 against Western, failing to score a run in seven innings. Sophomore Ruben Bracamontes hit a triple in the seventh, giving the Aztecs some last minute hope but fellow sophomore Jaquese Moore couldn’t come through in the clutch, striking out to end the game.

Freshman Justin Hammergren pitched four innings, giving up the one run but helped himself with six strikeouts.

In their second game against Western it looked as though the Aztecs losing streak was going to come to an end, but Western rallied in the last three innings to finish the game on top 9-8.

In the third inning sophomore Devin Harrison scored the first of six runs in the third inning with a solo home run to put Pima up 3-2.

Next, sophomore Trevor Johnson hit a two-run RBI single followed by Bracamontes’ three-run home run allowing the Aztecs to establish an early 8-2 lead

Western waited to retaliate until the seventh inning as they put up numbers one right after the other scoring four runs in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth to end the game 9-8.

Sophomore Chris Kucko pitched six and one-third innings giving up five runs on seven hits with three strikeouts.

Pima lost both its doubleheaders against Central Arizona College at the West Campus on March 31.

Despite being down 9-4 the Aztecs seemed to have a comeback in reach. Sophomore Brandon Burke hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning with fellow sophomore Trey Stine following with an RBI that brought in freshman pinch runner David Oropeza to put the score at 9-7.

Sophomore Roy Aguirre took the loss pitching four and two-thirds innings giving Central all nine of their runs with four strike outs and two walks.

In game two Pima once again found themselves trying to play catch-up, unable to close the gap in an 8-3 loss.

By the top of the fourth inning the Aztecs were down 7-1. Freshman Vinnie Tarantola tried to redeem the Aztecs with and RBI double in the fourth and an RBI single in the sixth to bump them up 7-3.

Kucko pitched three and one-thirds innings, taking the loss and giving up seven runs with three strikeouts and one walk.

The Aztecs lost two on the road against Cochise College on Mar. 28, one being far more entertaining than the other.

In their first game at Cochise College the Aztecs were disappointingly run ruled by the 5th inning losing to Cochise 14-1.

Sophomore Trevor Johnson drove in Pima’s only run with an RBI single that brought in fellow sophomore Trey Stine in the first inning. Cochise scored three runs in the second inning, six in the third and another five in the fourth.

Hammergren pitched the last two and two-third innings giving up nine runs with two strikeouts and three walks.

Pima’s second game however was a complete contrast of the first as the Aztecs managed to drag Cochise with them to an extra tenth inning. Ultimately losing 7-6.

Starting out as a reflection of the first game the Aztecs finally came out fighting in the fourth inning led by freshman Al Cruz hitting an RBI double. Followed by sophomore Brandon Burke’s RBI single cutting into Cochise’s lead 4-2.

In the sixth inning Sophomore Ruben Bracamontes hit a groundout RBI to tie the game 4-4.

After that the Aztecs answered each of Cochise’s runs. Johnson tied the game in the 7th with a sacrifice-fly to make it 5-5 and then again with Moore hitting an RBI single in the 8th to tie the game once more at 6-6.

Unfortunately the exciting battle ended in the tenth with a Cochise win.

Freshman Daniel Tolano came in to pitch in the seventh throwing three and one-third innings and giving up only one run on three hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Johnson came to relief in the ninth and took the loss.

The Aztecs’ last win came against Eastern Arizona College on March 24, when they swept both games with three home runs, bringing their record to a hopeful 21-14 and 14-10 in conference play.

The losing streak dropped them to 9th in the division.

Their next challenge comes against Mesa Community College who currently holds the number two position in the ACCAC. The game will be held in Mesa on April 11.

 Ryan Norrix fires a pitch following the last scoring innning of a game against Gateway Community College at Pima Community College on March 3. (Caleb Foster/Aztec Press)

Ryan Norrix fires a pitch following the last scoring innning of a game against Gateway Community College at Pima Community College on March 3. (Caleb Foster/Aztec Press)


April 11: @ Mesa CC, Mesa, noon

April 14: Paradise Valley CC, West Campus, noon

April 18: @ Phoenix College, Phoenix, noon

April 21: @Glendale CC, Glendale, noon



Tennis: Men struggle, women hold tight

Tennis: Men struggle, women hold tight



Men’s tennis:

Pima Community College men’s tennis team (2-4, 0-4 in ACCAC) is coming off a rough part of the season, having lost every conference match and losing four out six in regular play.

Pima traveled up to Mesa to face off against a familiar foe in Mesa Community College on April 2. Pima faced the same result as last the outting against Mesa being shutout 9-0.

The Aztecs were handled pretty easily by Mesa. Pima scored no more than three points in any singles match and in doubles they were shutout.

Pima hosted Skagit Valley College for a non-conference meet on March 30 and  won a tight one at 6-3.

Sophomore Richard Foitik put the game away with his number one singles win. Pima went 2-1 in doubles play. Sophomores Mathieu Lancaster,  Bravo, and Francisco Ton and Foitik got the wins for doubles.

Pima went 4-2 in singles play. Sophomore Michael Amaya, Lancaster and Ton won their singles matches on top of Foitik’s meet-sealing win in singles play.

The Aztecs faced off against Paradise Valley Community College on March 26 and lost a close one at 4-5.

The Aztecs went 1-2 in doubles, Ton and Foitik won the only doubles match for Pima. In singles Pima fared a bit better, as they spilt with PVCC 3-3. Ton and Foitik won their singles matches on top of their doubles win.

Women’s tennis:

Pima Community College women’s tennis team (7-8, 4-2 in ACCAC) has been on a roll  winning four of the last five matches.

The Aztecs squared off against Mesa Community College on April 2, winning 6-3.

Pima swept Mesa in doubles, 3-0. Two of the games were won by fewer than three points and the third game resulted in a shutout. In singles, Pima went 3-3 splitting with Mesa. Freshmen Stephanie Nickles and sophomore Cristina Oropeza both picked up wins in singles play.

Freshman Jahnessa Mackey also won her number 6th spot for her seventh straight singles win and the game sealing win.

The Aztecs hosted number nine-ranked Eastern Arizona College in conference play on March 31. Pima went on to lose, as their come back fell short losing 5-4.

The Aztecs were swept in doubles matches, as they lost both of their matches by one point. Pima played well in singles as they went 4-2.

Mackey also picked up a win, making it her sixth straight wins.

Pima beat Skagit Valley College of Mount Vernon, Wash., March 30, shutting out SVC 9-0.

Pima handled doubles pretty easily as they won every match by more than four points. Pima dominated in singles and never lost a single set against SVC.

Pima shut out Paradise Valley Community College 9-0 on March 26 in Phoenix.

Richard Foitik backhands a return against Imperial Valley College at Pima Community College West Campus. Foitik is Pima’s No. 1 men’s player. (Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics)

Cristina Oropeza strikes back against an Imperial Valley College player on Feb. 7 at the Pima Community College West Campus. (Photos courtesy of PCC Athletics)



April 9: Glendale CC, TRC-Tucson, 1:30 p.m.

April 14: @Paradise Valley CC, Phoenix, 1:30 p.m.


April 9: @Glendale CC, Glendale, 1:30 p.m.

April 14: Paradise Valley CC, TRC-Tucson 1:30 p.m.

April 21-22: @Region 1 Tournament, Paseo Racquet Club- Glendale, TBA


Athletic Voice: Fans are athletes too

Athletic Voice: Fans are athletes too



We can’t all be super athletes, with six-pack abs and arms of steel, getting paid the big bucks to play a beloved game of ball.

However, we can all be fans – with our six packs of beer, piles of nachos and hot dogs for days, rowdy people surrounding us to cheer on our favorite teams on the big screen.

Watching sports should be considered a sport of its own. It’s not just a matter of sitting down and watching a television screen. It takes time, dedication and commitment to spend an entire day fully engaged in your team’s game.

Not only have we dedicated a full day but we play  the game of waiting nearly a half year just to begin our beloved sport of watching sports. It may not be two-a-days or intense training but we must endure through the boredom of off season.

Before we know it though, the boredom disappears, with the return of our favorite time of the year,  ticking away on the scoreboard. It’s gameday!

There’s just something so awesome about preparing for that big day; the excitement, the anticipation, the yearning. The hope that your team takes the win and of course, the game day food.

Before the game even begins your choice of outfit is crucial. If you’re not wearing enough team logos, or the same pair of socks you wore the last time your team won than bad, unspeakable, things could happen..

Game day food and drink is reason enough to show up for a game. When you know the best chips and salsa are waiting, to be nicely stacked next to your mouthwatering cheese burger, than even the season’s biggest loss can still be a win for your appetite.

All these things are exciting and all, but its your friends that make everything better. When you’re surrounded by people screaming for the same colored jersey, it doesn’t take more than a single glance around the room to realize that this is your team and you’re all here playing the same sport.

As a fan, you must understand that there will be good times and bad times. Tears will be dropped, hearts will be broken and beers might even get spilled. But even through the emotions and losses, there’s no turning back. You’re a fan for life.

So even if we can’t all be blessed with the athletic bone, at least know this: We can all come together, with our best friends, to play our favorite sport of eating, yelling and enjoying the camaraderie that comes with watching our teams play.

Arizona recruiting

Arizona recruiting



Pima Community College is home to 347 student-athletes belonging to a variety of sports.

With 69 percent of Pima’s athletes coming from southern Arizona, mainly Tucson, it is clear to see where Pima’s focus on recruitment is. In fact only 14 percent of Pima’s athletes come from out of state.

According to Executive Athletic Director Edgar Soto, Pima’s recruitment policy focuses on athletes within the community.

“Our focus has always been southern Arizona because we are not in a situation that we can have dorms.” Soto said.

The lack of student housing prohibits Pima from recruiting out-of-state athletes on a large scale.

Some would credit the low percent of out-of-state athletes to Pima’s poor performance in certain sports – most notably, football. With a total of eight wins in the last two seasons it is understandable why local football players pass on Pima.

“It’s going to take a while to get football back,” Soto said.

It’s not to say that big time athletes don’t come from Tucson, because they do. One of the most recent examples is sophomore Murphy Gershman, Pima basketball star and Tucson High graduate.

Gershman was just named to the NJCAA Division II All-American Second Team and serves as an example that exceptional player can be found locally.

Gershman, who will play at Colorado School of Mines next semester, has used Pima athletics as a door into the next level like many other athletes before him.

Most athletic programs at Pima have no need to recruit out of state athletes. Many coaches like women’s basketball coach Todd Holthaus believe they have all the players they need in Arizona.

“I think our recipe for success has been mostly local kids,” Holthaus said. Holthaus led his team to the Region I, Division II semifinals this season.

With the recent loss of state funding Pima may see a further drop in out-of-state recruitment. With budget cuts it’s possible to see coaches shy away from recruiting outside of Arizona.

“Now that they’ve cut that funding I think we need to be more focused on southern Arizona,” Soto said.

It is also possible that sports dependent on out-of-state athletes like football might disappear from Pima entirely.

Factors such as declining enrollment will hurt Pima even more now that state cut its funding. Even with increases in tuition costs it’s impossible to say if Pima will be able to maintain the same programs as it did with state funding.

“Even though athletics is important and we want to win games and be successful our main goal is academic achievement,” Soto said.

The overall goal of the athletic department is to interest and gather student-athletes with sports, and then get them involved in higher education and give them the skills and knowledge to be successful.

Pima could be viewed as a sort of training grounds not only for athletes but all students. Whether it is an athlete trying to play at a higher level or a student seeking the skills they need to be successful in a trade or university.

Since Pima acts as such, athletic programs will always face the issue of losing star players to bigger colleges. However that is the role of Pima, to develop and nurture young students and athletes for their next step.

Pima’s focus on southern Arizonan athletes doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. If anything that focus will deepen in the coming seasons.

Golf: Teams hold steady on the course

Golf: Teams hold steady on the course



Women’s golf:

The Pima Community College women’s golf team took third place in the Chandler-Gilbert Invitational on April 7.

The Aztecs closed out the meet at Toka Sticks Golf Course in Pheonix with a combined team score of 680 (342-338). Mesa Community College placed first with a final score of  614.

“We played good both days and we qualified for nationals,” head coach Ray Price said.

In individual play, Freshman Rachel Blount took ninth scoring 163 (83-80).

Sophomore Paige Valles shot  a 169 (86-83) securing the tenth position for PCC.

Freshman Jessica Nordby  placed in 13th with a final score of 173 (86-87).

Freshman Carley Nelson followed close behind, tied for 14th shooting a 175 (87-88).

Pima’s final meet of the regular season is the South Mountain Community College Invitational at Legacy Golf Course in Laveen, Ariz.  on April 20-21. Tee off will be at noon for both days of play.

After the meet, the Aztecs will have two weeks to prepare for the conference championship in Mesa. The meet will take place between May 10-15 and mark the end of the season.

“It’ll be a great experience for the girls, but they did it,” Price said.

Men’s golf:

The Pima Community College men’s golf team finished fourth in the Estrella Mountain Community College Invitational, placing them third overall in ACCAC conference play.

The Aztecs finished the tournament with a combined score of 592 (297-295). South Mountain Community College finished in first shooting a 562.

In individual play, freshman Will Dennis tied for fifth place shooting a two under par 142 (72-70).

Freshman Frankie Wu finished in 11th place  with a one over par 145 (74-71).

Sophomore Anthony Moncada placed in 21st shooting a 152 (74-78).

Freshman Aaron Ramonett shot a 153 (77-76) placing him tied for 22nd.

PCC will play their final tournament of the regular season at Gold Canyon Golf Course in Gold Canyon, Ariz. On April 13-14. Tee off is at noon.




April 20-21: @ South Mountain CC, Legacy Golf Resort, Laveen, 11:56 a.m.


April 13-14: @ Paradise Valley CC, Gainey Ranch Golf Course, Scottsdale, noon

Sports analysis: Is our national pastime in trouble?

Sports analysis: Is our national pastime in trouble?



The 2015 Major League Baseball season began April 5, and I fear that American professional baseball is in danger. I’m not talking about performance enhancing drugs, the Los Angeles Dodgers over-spending or declining television ratings.

No, I’m talking about something much worse, something that will rock the National League to its very core.

What about the American League, you ask?

Well, that’s the problem. The American League doesn’t actually play baseball. The AL plays a game that’s kind of like baseball, but where the pitchers don’t have to hit.

In 1973, the AL instituted the “Designated Hitter,” a position that allowed another player to bat for the pitcher. This was done in the questionable belief that it would make the game more attractive to fans by replacing the usually weaker-hitting pitcher with a professional hitter.

It also allowed older stars who were unable to play the field to hang on for a few extra years. It always seemed to me like a move to placate half-assed fans at the expense of real ones.

What the Designated Hitter really did was fundamentally alter a game that wasn’t broken.

The National League had been playing baseball since 1876, and it worked just fine. The Designated Hitter dramatically simplified the strategy of the game and gave guys who could never field a chance to just hit. I’m sorry, but if you can’t use a glove, get off the field.

I don’t really care that the AL decided to quit playing baseball, I’m over it. But media outlets all over the country have recently been reporting that it really isn’t a question of if the NL will adopt the DH, but when.

I’ve been a baseball fan for 40 years and have gone to see my beloved San Francisco Giants play more than 300 times. If the DH comes to the NL, my love for the game will seriously be challenged.

One of my favorite parts of baseball is the strategy, particularly regarding pitching changes and the manufacturing of runs.

When the pitchers don’t bat, the pitching changes are much easier for a manager to deal with. If the pitchers don’t have to hit, a manager can just keep running a guy out to the mound without worrying if he needs more offense, even if he’s behind late in the game.

The opportunity to bat also gives a pitcher who is a well-rounded player and can hit, or at least bunt effectively, a well-deserved advantage.

As much as the DH dumbs-down the game, that isn’t even its biggest flaw.

Baseballs are dangerous, and players frequently get hit by pitches being thrown at 85-95 MPH.

To pitch effectively, a pitcher must be able to throw inside, without batters crowding the plate looking for an edge. The pitchers have every right to the inside of the plate, and if that means they have to brush a player back or even hit him, that’s part of the game.

While it’s fine for pitchers to throw “message pitches,” they need to be mindful of hitter safety and not go “head hunting.”

Baseball is a self-policing game, and the way you keep pitchers in line is by making them step up to the plate and face the music themselves. If they don’t have to bat, you get guys like Roger Clemens throwing recklessly at batters with no fear of retribution.

Baseball needs this crucial system of checks and balances to maintain player safety.

I have always had faith that sanity would prevail and the National League would never give in to the dark side, but perhaps the rising salaries paid to pitchers (The Washington Nationals just gave Max Scherzer $210 million for seven years) may have finally convinced NL owners to capitulate.

It seems that they have chosen to protect their investments at the cost of the game, and that the abundance of recent media discussions is a pre-emptive strike to ready the fans for the introduction of the DH to the NL. I am preparing for the worst.

Softball: Team’s winning streak ends

Softball: Team’s winning streak ends



The Pima Community College softball team (27-7, 22-6 in ACCAC) is playing strong, just recently closing out a seven game winning streak. Sophomore Alexis Alfonso has led the Aztecs through that streak with a fantastic performance.

The Aztecs grabbed their seventh win in a row on March 24 against Yavapai College with a 3-1 victory. After falling behind by one in the first inning the Aztecs were able to come back and grab the win.

Alfonso improved her personal record to 15-2 as she pitched a complete game giving up a single run and throwing four strikeouts. Alfonso tied the game in the second inning with a solo home run.

Taylor Fabing gave the Aztecs the lead with an RBI that allowed freshman Christine Olivas to score. The Aztecs ended their win streak with a 4-2 loss in the second game against Yavapai.

Freshman Odalis Orduno (8-3) pitched a complete game with seven strikeouts in the loss. Freshman Alexis Ayala went 2 for 3 in the game producing a RBI and a double.

An attempted rally in the sixth was cut short after one run, effectively ending the Aztecs comeback. Pima swept Chandler-Gilbert Community College March 17 at the West Campus.

The Aztecs totaled three home runs in the first game to defeat Chandler-Gilbert 11-3. Sophomore Jackie Hernandez was 5 for 7 with five RBIs and five runs scored and sophomore Taylor Fabing finished the day 3 for 5 with three RBIs and six runs scored.

Alfonso hit a three-run homer and freshman Sierra Cuestas followed with a solo homer to make it 7-1. Hernandez hit an RBI triple and scored on Fabing’s two-run homer to put the Aztecs up.

Alfonso went 1 for 3 with three RBIs and three runs scored while Cuestas and Hernandez each finished 2 for 3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Alfonso pitched all five innings giving up three runs on six hits with two strikeouts and three walks. The Aztecs got off to an early start in their 12-0 win in the second game against Chandler-Gilbert scoring four runs in the first inning.

Cuestas hit a two-run RBI double while Olivas and Hernandez each hit RBI singles in the inning. Cuestas and Olivas also each hit RBI singles. Cuestas went 2 for 3 with four RBIs while Olivas was 2 for 2 with two RBIs.

Hernandez was 3 for 4 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Fabing was 1 for 3 with three runs scored. Orduno and Ayala combined to throw a four-hit shutout.

Orduno picked up the win after she pitched four innings giving up two hits with three strikeouts and no walks. Ayala pitched the later in the game and gave up two hits with one strikeout.

Pima’s pitcher Alfonso was selected ACCAC Division II Pitcher of the Week March 17 for the week of March 9-15. She went 4-0 in the last six games she’s played. Alfonso threw 24.2 innings with a 2.31 ERA and 13 strikeouts.

Pima earned a pair of conference wins March 14 at the West Campus against GateWay Community College. The Aztecs run-ruled GateWay 11-0 in five innings during the first game.

The Aztecs had some bright spots on offense as freshman Kalynn Martinez had five RBIs and four runs scored on the day while sophomore Ariana Murrieta drew four walks and scored three runs.

Martinez hit a two-run RBI single that was followed by a two-run RBI double by Hernandez. Martinez finished with three RBIs and two runs scored for the game.

Murrieta went 1 for 1 with two runs scored and two walks. Alfonso went 2 for 3 with an RBI and also threw a shutout. She pitched all five innings giving up one hit with seven strikeouts.

Pima fell behind early but responded by scoring seven runs to win 9-1 in five innings. Down 1-0 after the top of the first inning, Ayala and sophomore Paige Castro each hit RBI singles in the bottom half of the inning to put Pima up 2-1.

Fabing hit a two-run RBI double while Ayala and Cuestas followed with RBI doubles of their own. Fabing finished 1 for 1 with two RBIs and a walk.

Ayala was 2 for 3 with two RBIs and Martinez had two RBIs and two runs scored. Murrieta went 1 for 1 with a run scored and two walks.

Orduno threw all five innings giving up one run on six hits with two strikeouts and no walks.


March 31: @ Glendale CC, 1 p.m.
April 4: South Mountain CC, West Campus, 2 p.m.
April 7: @ Phoenix CC, 1 p.m.


Alexis Alfonso winds up her arm for a pitch against Chandler-Gilbert at home on March 17. Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics


Golf: Teams hold steady

Golf: Teams hold steady



Men’s golf:

The Pima Community College men’s team placed third in the Pima Invitational which took place at Silverbell Golf Course from March 16-17.

“We stepped up in a big way, and took a step in the direction of realizing our potential,” head coach Clark Rustand said.

Scoring 565 the Aztecs trailed second place to Mesa Community College by two strokes.

Freshman David Raur took first place, shooting eight under par 64 during the first day and finishing with a final score of 132.

All conference player sophomore Anthony Moncada and freshman Will Dennis each shot for even-par 144. Freshman Frankie Wu and freshman Aaron Ramonett each shot 148.

Pima’s next match begins March 31 at the WigWam Golf Course in Litchfield Park with tee off at 12:45 p.m.

Women’s golf:

Pima Community College placed fifth in the Estrella Mountain Invitational scoring 753, nine strokes behind conference rival Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Mesa Community College took first scoring 615.

The meet took place at Aguila Golf Course in Phoenix beginning March 17 and closed out the following afternoon.

Freshman Jessica Nordby took eleventh place in individual play with a total of 174. Sophomore Paige Valles placed 14th with a score of 176.

Freshman Carley Nelson shot a 200 taking 19th, followed by freshman Casey Morinelli who took 20th scoring 203.

Pima took third at Scottsdale Invitational Pima on March 15-16 beating out Chandler-Gilbert in a close competition for that position, with a team score of 736.

Each Aztec golfer improved on the second day of competition.

Valles had the Aztec’s best game, taking ninth with a score of 170. Nelson placed 11th shooting a 175. Nordby placed 16th with a score of 193 and Morienelli shot a 198 taking 17th.

“We could have done better, had we not lost a few girls due to slipped grades,” head coach Rick Price said. “If we can secure another third place ranking before the season is over we’ll be eligible for the national tournament.”

Pima’s next meet will be the Chandler-Gilbert Invitational at Toka Sticks Golf Course from April 6-7. Tee off is at noon.


March 31: Estrella Mountain CC, Litchfield Park, Tucson, 12:45 p.m.

Tennis: Women improve, men need wins

Tennis: Women improve, men need wins



Pima tennis is looking to get back on track after a few losses and long break from play for both teams.

Women’s tennis:

The Pima Community College women’s tennis team (4-7, 2-1 in ACCAC) look to improve as they get over .500 in coference.

The Aztecs after a tough loss in California, got back on the right track after shouting out Glendale Community College (9-0) on March 24. The win gives Pima a winning record in coference.

Pima handled GCC easily for the most part. The Aztecs in doubles won every game by no more then six points. Pima in singles had a similar result. A few of them fell behind early, but everyone swept their matches.

Sophomore Cristina Oropeza and freshman Noelle Karp at the number one doubles position, with the doubles win against GCC puts them at .500 for the season at (5-5).

For singles, Karp at the number one position is (4-6) and Oropeza at the number two has the team’s best record at (6-4).

The Aztecs split on the road in California, March 17-18.

Pima lost 6-3 against Grossmont College in El Cajon, Calif. on March 18.

Sophomores Ema Hernandez and Yani Alameda won their doubles match, while Oropeza and freshman Jahnessa Mackey won their singles matches.

Pima got a 6-3 win against San Diego Mesa College on March 17. Pima swept SDMC in doubles matches and won three singles matches.
Freshmen Mackey, Karp and Alameda won their singles matches.

Mackey won via a shutout and Karp gave up just one point. Alameda won a tie breaker in her victory.

The Aztecs next game will play Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix on March 26.

Men’s tennis:

The Pima Community College men’s tennis team (1-2, 0-2 in ACCAC) find themselves in a tough spot coming off a loss.

The Aztecs are coming off another long break and a shutout loss against Glendale Community College on March 7.

Pima’s woes continued as they lost to Glendale Community College 6-3 on March 24. Pima’s loss to GCC is their second consecutive loss in conference.

The Aztecs went 1-2 for doubles, with sophomores Juan Bravo and Mathieu Lancaster getting the win. Pima in singles went 2-4. Sophomore Francisco Ton (2-1) and Bravo (2-1) would get the wins.

Pima played tough, but that wasn’t enough to get the win.

Pima next game will be at the Tucson Racquet Club on March 26 against Paradise Valley Community College.


March 26: @ Paradise Valley CC, Phoenix, 1:30 p.m.
March 30: Skagit Valley College, TRC-Tucson, 1 p.m.
March 31: Eastern Arizona College, TRC-Tucson, 1:30 p.m.
April 2: Mesa CC, TRC-Tucson, 1:30 p.m.

March 26: Paradise Valley CC, TRC-Tucson, 1:30 p.m.
March 30: Skagit Valley College, TRC-Tucson, 1 p.m.
April 2: @ Mesa CC, Mesa, 1:30 p.m.

Track and Field: Pima takes on universities

Track and Field: Pima takes on universities



After a successful run in the Indoor NJCAA championships, the Pima Community College track and field teams competed with the big dogs at the universities.

The Aztecs competed with fellow junior colleges as well as universities like the University of Arizona and Grand Canyon University at UA in the March 19 Willie Williams Classic.

Sophomore Anfernee Alexander set a national qualifier with an eighth-place effort of 159 feet and seven inches in the discus throw.

Alexander also placed second in the hammer throw with a distance of 162 feet, just shy of UA athlete Daniel Whitham but ahead of other university teams. Freshman Tyler Johnson placed second in the men’s long jump competition.

He beat out an Arizona competitor with his 23 feet 6 and one-quarter inches, but was ousted by a Central Arizona College athlete who jumped 24 feet 5 and three-quarters inches.

Sophomore Luke Ross placed third in the men’s high jump competition with a height of 6 feet 6 and three-quarters inches, falling just six inches short of the first place height.

Former outdoor track star and current Pima Track Club member Brianna Rodriquez placed fourth in the women’s long jump with a distance of 18 feet 10 and three-qarter inches behind three university athletes and against a mild gust of wind.

Sophomore Kaysee Pilgrim and freshman Meghan Sweeney placed fourth and fifth respectively in the women’s high jump competition with heights of 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 5 inches.

Freshman Juliette Cossey placed third in the women’s triple jump, with a jump of 36 feet 7 inches, against a mild wind.

The Aztecs will take tok the track in Paradise Valley on March 26-28 for the Puma Outdoor Distance and Multi-Meet.


March 26-28: Puma Outdoor Distance and Multi-meet, Paradise Valley Community College, 6 p.m. and 10 a.m.
April: ACCAC Conference Meet #2, West Campus, 9:30 a.m.

Athletic Voice: Athletes are role models?

Athletic Voice: Athletes are role models?



Hall of Fame basketball player Charles Barkley once famously said, “I’m not a role model. Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kid.”
He was discussing the media’s view of professional athletes.

The question is, was Barkley right? Let’s look at what we’re really dealing with when it comes to pro athletes. Most rookies come straight from college, or sometimes even high school.

The whole time they’re in school they are told they’re the greatest things since sliced bread because of their physical ability. Then we give them millions of dollars to showcase it to the world.

They are put on pedestals from such a young age then we forget that most of these kids come from very colorful backgrounds. After we give them the impression that rules don’t apply to them, they go do stuff that we frown upon.

We scream foul, and say these athletes are nothing but thugs and unfit members of society. There are a few quality role models, such as Andrew Luck. But for every athlete of Luck’s caliber, we get 10 versions of Johnny Manziel, Chris Benoit, Greg Hardy and Pete Rose.

Even with some of the respectable role models, like Richard Sherman or Marshawn Lynch, we find reasons to bring them down to our level.

Why do we scream? Because we look for reasons to complain. Look at Sherman; people have been on record calling him an uneducated thug. Sherman is a Stanford graduate. The likelihood of a Stanford grad being uneducated and a thug?

Don’t hold your breath it’s not likely at all. Why do we put these athletes on a fantasy pedestal? Is it because sports let us escape from the real world for a short period of time? Is it because we grew up admiring them before the whole TMZ world order took over?

Whatever the reason may be, we need to stop looking up to them. Seeing how much they’re on TMZ, we need to look at these athletes as full-blown celebrities. You wouldn’t want your kids looking up to Kim Kardashian. You shouldn’t want them to look up to people like Jameis Winston either.

Let’s stop screaming foul at these people and instead only scream about the game. Let’s enjoy the games and not the names on TMZ.
Let’s watch sports like your grandfather used to, and talk about athletes on the field and only on the field.

Venues to watch UA men’s basketball

Venues to watch UA men’s basketball



March Madness is almost upon us!

The No. 5 nationally ranked University of Arizona men’s basketball team is getting ready for the most exciting time in collegiate sports.

If you’re looking to go out and enjoy the game with friends or family, here are my Top 10 places in Tucson to watch the Wildcats play.

10. Schrier’s Sports Grill

1118 E. Sixth St.

Schrier’s is the youngest of all the businesses listed. It opened just last December, but the reception has only been positive so far. Located right next to the university, Schrier’s is cozy inside and has amazing food. The space is somewhat minimal, so arrive early and grab a beer on tap.

9. Hi-Fi

345 E. Congress St. #101

Hi-Fi, located across the street from The Cadence student apartments, definitely attracts a college-going crowd for games. With 45 high-definition screens (the most on our list) and a decent happy hour menu, this bar provides a rowdy good time for watching the Wildcats.

8. Sky Bar

536 N. Fourth Ave.

Although there are only three screens for watching a game, these are huge projector screens. You won’t have a problem finding a good spot to sit. On top of tap beer and cocktails, Sky Bar is connected to Brooklyn Pizza Co. and will bring the pizza to you at the bar. Don’t worry about missing a minute of the game.

7. Frog & Firkin

874 E. University Blvd.

Frog & Firkin has lots of outside seating and screens to enjoy the early spring weather. The crowd leans a little more to the student side but always has alumni as well. The food and beer selection is extensive. I recommend grabbing a burger or some deep-dish pizza.

6. Wings Over Broadway

5004 E. Broadway Blvd.

WOB is the place for fans who live east of the university. Even if you don’t, it’s worth the drive. It has some of the best wings you’ll find in Tucson and a ton of other menu options. You can sit at the bar or in the dining area. Either way, you’ll get great service and good food. The crowd is mainly locals so you won’t have to worry so much about those crazy college kids.

5. The Red Garter Bar & Grill

3143 E Speedway Blvd.

Locals love the Red Garter, which is located just east of Country Club Road. It always has a large crowd during big games. Enjoy some great bar food and a selection of beers for a good price. TVs surround the bar, the dining room and a back area with pool tables. If you choose the back area, you can play a little pool during halftime.

4. Gentle Ben’s Brewing Co.

865 E. University Blvd.

Another location right off University Boulevard, Gentle Ben’s is full of student life. It has good food and lots of space, including an upstairs balcony. Ben’s is the place to be if you want to have a little extra fun and get rowdy with the college crowd.

3. Thunder Canyon Brewery (downtown location)

220 E. Broadway Blvd.

If you’re worried about finding a table in time for the game, head to Thunder Canyon Brewery. The huge space has tons of tables, TVs and a bar for wherever you want to camp out during the game. The food and service have always been good and the extensive beer selections include house-made brews and root beer.

2. No Anchovies Pizza

870 E. University Blvd.

If you’re anything like me, we can agree that UA students sometimes get a bit too rowdy during a game. ‘Chovies’ always hosts a great mixture of locals, alumni and students. Get there a little early to snag a spot on the outside patio full of seating and shade. Grab a slice of pizza, a nice cold beer on tap and enjoy both the game and the beautiful Tucson weather.

1. McKale Center 

University of Arizona campus

Although the UA regular season has ended, I couldn’t bear to leave out the one and only McKale Center. What better way is there to watch the Wildcats play than seeing them on their own court? McKale Center has a rich history. It has hosted multiple future basketball greats, NCAA men’s Division I basketball tournaments and even a United States president. Whether you’re in the rowdy Zona Zoo student section, in the nose-bleed seats or have deep enough pockets to sit courtside, it’s hard to put a price on McKale’s fun and memorable atmosphere.


Pg12-McKale Center-Larry

Larry Gaurano/Aztec Press
No venue can match the rowdy atmosphere at Mckale Center


WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Aztecs end season with heartbreaker

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Aztecs end season with heartbreaker



The Pima Community College’s women’s basketball team ended its season early in a loss to Phoenix College 55-53 on March 4 at the West Campus gym.

Despite Pima having the No. 1 seed over No. 4 Phoenix going into the Region I, Division II Tournament semi-finals, the Aztecs struggled to pull out the win.

Sophomore Heather Rogers scored 14 points, 10 of them in the second half, and had five steals to end the game and the season.

Sophomore Melody McLaughlin scored a team-high 15 points with nine rebounds. She ended the season averaging around 14 points and seven rebounds and managed to start all 30 games.

McLaughlin was selected Second Team All-ACCAC and First Team All-Region I, Division II.

Freshman Shalise Fernander contributed 10 points and eight rebounds.

Fernander ended the season with an average of 12 points and seven rebounds per game and was named Third Team All-ACCAC and Second Team All-Region I, Division II.

Reflecting on the season, Fernander said, “The beginning of the season was a little shaky, but toward the end of the season it was such a beautiful thing to see us all click on the court. I couldn’t ask for a better team.”

Pima ended a strong season with an overall 17-14 record and 14-8 in the ACCAC Region I, Division II conference.

On Feb. 24, Pima sealed the No. 1 seat in the Region I, Division II Tournament.

The Aztecs pulled out a win in an exciting game against Scottsdale Community College, 66-62.

With under a minute left in the game, the score was tied 62-62.

Freshman Kristin Baldwin scored a jump shot, putting Pima up 64-62 with 39.6 second left on the clock.

Scottsdale tried to tie the game back up. After a missed shot, freshman Shalise Fernander was fouled as she came down with the defensive rebound.

Fernander then made two clutch free-throw shots, putting the Aztecs up 66-62 with only 21.1 remaining in the game, sealing the game.

Even though the season is over Fernander is already excited for next year.

“I look forward to all the new freshman babies coming in and teaching them all the tricks of being successful in college on and off the court”


Pg13-Women's basketball-Melody McLaughlin-Contributed

Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics
Sophomore Melody McLaughlin drives into the key against Phoenix College’s defense.