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SOFTBALL: Pima dominates Mesa CC

SOFTBALL: Pima dominates Mesa CC

By ANDREW PAXTON

Pima Community College swept Mesa Community College off the softball diamond, crushing them in both games of a doubleheader on March 29 at West Campus.

The Aztecs pitched shutouts in both outings. They earned a 7-0 victory in their first game and won the second match 11-0 in only 5 innings.

Sophomore Stephanie Vejar notched her eighth win of the season in the first game, giving up only two hits over seven innings.

In the second match, freshman Celina Martinez took the win, striking out four batters in four innings.

Freshman Alexis Dotson finished the day 7-7 from the plate, including a triple and three runs scored in the first game and 3 RBIs in the second.

The Aztecs have won 10 of their last 11 games and are now .500 in conference play (18-19, 13-13 in conference).

PCC will host Glendale Community College in a conference doubleheader on April 1 at West Campus. The games will begin at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

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SOFTBALL: Pima sweeps El Paso Community College

SOFTBALL: Pima sweeps El Paso Community College

By BETO HOYOS

Pima Community College’s softball team traveled to Texas on March 25, and the Aztecs picked up a sweep against El Paso Community College.

In the first game, the Aztecs broke things open with four runs in the fifth inning, taking a 9-3 lead en route to an 11-6 victory.

Sophomore Valerie Luera and freshman Taylor Fabing showed off their power with back-to-back jacks. Luera had a two-run homer and Fabing had a solo shot.

Freshman Alexis Dotson finished the game 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two stolen bases. Dotson finished with six RBIs.

Freshman Celina Martinez earned the win, improving her record to 4-9. Martinez had two strikeouts in four innings.

In the second game, the Aztecs put up more than a dozen runs and won 13-5.

Dotson finished 4 for 5 with four RBIs and two doubles.

Luera finished 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a triple and sophomore Stacey Ramirez finished 2 for 3 with two RBI’s and two runs scored.

“We’re coming together and hitting and not leaving anyone on base,” Ramirez said. “We’re getting the little stuff done.”

On March 22, the Aztecs split a doubleheader against Scottsdale Community College.

They won the first game 4-2, after Luera crushed a game-winning two-run home run.

Fabing got the game started with an RBI single in the first inning to claim a 1-0 lead. Scottsdale tied the game in the second inning, but freshman Jackie Hernandez hit an RBI single to reclaim the Aztecs’ lead.

Freshman Alexis Dotson finished the game 2 for 3 with two runs scored and two stolen bases.

Martinez picked up her third win of the season after throwing three innings in relief of sophomore Stephanie Vejar.

The Aztecs saw a six-game winning streak come to an end in the second game. The game was close throughout, but the Aztecs could not withstand a late Scottsdale rally.

Martinez took the loss after allowing five runs on nine hits.

On March 20, the team scored 22 runs in a sweep of GateWay Community College.

In the first game, the Aztecs scored in every inning for a 10-1 victory.

Vejar picked up her seventh win of the season, allowing one run on four hits. She had one strikeout and two walks.

Hernandez, sophomore Danielle Stensby, Luera, Dotson, sophomore Victoria Mariscal, freshman Perla Munoz and sophomore Mariah Rodriguez all recorded hits.

The Aztecs won the second game 12-7. Freshman Brianna Quiroz earned her third win of the season and freshman Brianna Urquidez picked up the save.

On March 18, Pima swept a doubleheader against Chandler-Gilbert Community College. On March 14, Pima snapped an 11-game losing streak during the Deanna Mauer Classic in Casa Grande.

Pima lost its first game of the day to Howard College of Texas, 7-4.

 

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Sophomore standout Valerie Luera waits for a pitch against Central Arizona College.
(Aztec Press Photo by Nellie Silva)

 

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SOFTBALL: Struggles continue

SOFTBALL: Struggles continue

By BETO HOYOS

The struggles continued for Pima Community College’s softball team March 11 as the Aztecs took on Western Arizona College and dropped both games of a doubleheader.

The Aztecs lost the first game 6-5.

Freshman Celina Martinez took the loss after pitching in relief dropping her record to 2-7.

Sophomore Valerie Luera went 1 for 3 with two RBIs, while freshman Alexis Dotson went 2 for 2 with two runs scored, an RBI and two stolen bases.

The Aztecs lost the second game 14-2.

Western scored six runs in the third inning and four runs in the fifth to pull away from the Aztecs.

The Aztecs’ only offense came in the first inning off of a RBI single by sophomore Danielle Stensby RBI and in the fourth inning.

Stensby went 1 for 2 with an RBI and Dotson finished 2 for 3.

On March 8, the Aztecs were swept in a doubleheader against Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher.

Sophomore Stephanie Vejar took the loss, dropping her record to 5-6 on the season.

“Yeah, I mean it does get frustrating but I know I can trust my teammates behind me to back me up,” Vejar said.

Eastern broke the 3-3 tie with two runs in the fifth inning and two runs in the sixth inning.

The Aztecs tried to mount a comeback in the seventh inning but the rally was halted after two runs crossed the plate.

Dotson went 2 for 3 with an RBI, a run scored and a triple while fellow freshman Jackie Hernandez finished the game going 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Sophomore Stacey Ramirez finished the first game 2 for 3 with a run scored.

The Aztecs could not gain any momentum in the second game and the struggles were clear from the start. The second game lasted only five innings as the Aztecs were swept 8-0.

Martinez gave up seven runs on eight hits and picked up her sixth loss this season dropping her record to 2-6.

“One thing I’ve learned from my teammates is to always trust them behind me like they trust me,” Martinez said.

Hernandez and sophomore Valerie Luera each went 1 for 3 in the game.

On March 4, Pima dropped two games against Central Arizona College despite strong offensive performances by the Aztecs.

In the first game, Central took eight innings to defeat the Aztecs 10-8.

The Aztecs finished with four errors, all made in the infield.

“There were just too many little mistakes,” Ramirez said. “We’re all really talented, sometimes we all have off games.”

Freshman Brianna Quiroz had two RBIs and scored a run. Dotson went 3 for 5 with a triple and an RBI.

In the second game, the Aztecs were down early but rallied when freshman Paige Castro crushed a three-run RBI double tying the game at five.

Central responded with one run in the sixth and two runs in the seventh innings, and came away with an 8-5 win.

Castro finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs and sophomore Valerie Luera went 2 for 3 with two RBI’s.

“We’re playing like an open hand when we need to come together as a fist,” Ramirez said.

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Freshman Briana Urquldez throws a pitch in Pima’s loss to Central Arizona College on March 4. (Aztec Press photo by Jaime Hernandez)

 

On Deck

March 14-15: @ Central Arizona Tournament, Coolidge, times TBA

March 18: @ Chandler-Gilbert CC, Chandler, 1 p.m.

March 20: Gateway CC, West Campus, 1 p.m.

March 22: Scottsdale CC, West Campus, noon.

March 25: @ El Paso CC, El Paso, Texas, noon.

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SOFTBALL: Team goes through highs and lows

By BETO HOYOS

Pima Community College’s softball team had their bats go quiet again Paradise Valley Community College on Feb. 25.

The Aztecs managed one run during the doubleheader, dropping the first game 9-1 in five innings. Sophomore Stephanie Vejar gave up seven runs in two and two-thirds innings, taking the loss.

Pima fought hard in the follow-up contest, taking a scoreless tie into the ninth inning before Paradise Valley scored for a 1-0 victory.

On Feb. 22, the team was swept by Phoenix College in a doubleheader.

In the first game, the Aztecs gave up six runs in the fourth inning. The next three innings were rough as well and they lost10-2.

In the second game, the Aztecs took a quick 1-0 lead off the RBI single of sophomore Valerie Luera, who finished 3 for 3.

“We hit really well against their ace but the slow pitchers really kill us,” sophomore Stacey Ramirez said.

Sophomore Stephanie Vejar took the loss, dropping her record to 5-3.

On Feb. 18, the Aztecs hosted their home opener and swept South Mountain Community College.

It took the Aztecs just five innings to win the first game of the doubleheader. The Aztecs exploded for eight runs in the fourth inning, topping South Mountain 11-0.

Sophomore Danielle Stensby and freshman Alexis Dotson each had two-run RBI singles in the fourth inning. Freshman Jackie Hernandez joined the offensive showcase with a RBI triple.

Ramirez finished 3 for 3 with a run scored.

“The first game was the game you wanted to watch,” Ramirez said.

Vejar picked up her fifth win of the season, throwing a three-hitter with one strikeout.

“When we hit and our pitchers are on, we’re unstoppable,” Ramirez said.

The second game against South Mountain didn’t provide the same type of offense.

Freshman Taylor Fabing provided a solo shot to center in the third inning to give the Aztecs a 4-0 lead. South Mountain tried to come back, but Pima held on to win 4-2.

On Feb. 15, PCC visited Glendale Community College for a doubleheader.

The Aztecs had an explosive seventh inning in the first game, scoring six runs. Vejar picked up the win, allowing one run, six hits and one strikeout.

Sophomore Victoria Mariscal went 2 for 4 with a fifth-inning home run, and freshman Alexis Dotson finished the game 4 for 5 with an RBI and a double.

In the second game, the Aztecs scored five runs in the first inning. The big lead didn’t last, as Glendale began to slowly chip away at the deficit for a 8-6 win. Freshman Brianna Quiroz took the loss.

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On Deck

March 1: El Paso CC, West Campus, noon

March 4: Central Arizona College, West Campus, 1 p.m.

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Ramirez Destined for Softball

By BETO HOYOS

Pima Community College sophomore shortstop Stacey Ramirez has been passionate about sports.

Growing up in the small town of Benson, Ariz., Ramirez participated in several sports including softball, basketball and soccer.

Her talent in softball began to blossom in 7th grade when she began playing for an amateur softball association team, which allowed her to travel to California and Hawaii.

By her sophomore year at Benson High School, Ramirez was convinced that softball was something she could ride to college on.

“By my sophomore year we were already getting recruited by Phoenix College,” Ramirez said. “I went to a small school so it was easy to stand out.”

During high school there was never any doubt in Ramirez’s ability and that she would become a college student athlete. The only question was what sport she would choose to participate in.

“I can’t really see myself without softball you know,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez’s teammates enjoy her on the field attitude and her work ethic. Her hard work seems to rub off on her team and it can seem infectious.

“She’s such a great teammate and such a hard worker,” teammate Victoria Mariscal said. “Even more than me.”

Ramirez says that without her family and without her faith in God all her success wouldn’t be possible.

“The things that are most important to me and come before anything are God and my family,” Ramirez said. “My family is everything to me and is exactly what keeps me going.”

Ramirez was raised Christian and grew up being an involved member of her church.

“Growing up I’d go to youth groups, church camp, the whole nine yards,” Ramirez said.

Growing up in a small town Ramirez knew a lot of members of the community, including a lot of kids and early on she knew she would be a role model.

“We had a lot of little girls look up to us and I didn’t want to give us a bad name,” Ramirez said.

In a small town such as Benson word of any wrong doings can get around very quickly, so Ramirez said in High School she would hardly go out and party or do anything that would cast a negative light.

The sophomore shortstop says being a good role model is not that difficult as long as you stay true to yourself.

“A good role model is somebody who represents themselves in a positive way,” Ramirez said.

As for future career endeavors, Ramirez is not exactly sure what she wants to pursuit.

“I get really bored really fast, and I want to be successful,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez says she thinks a career in criminal justice would be interesting or working for the DEA as well.

“It’d be cool to work for the border patrol, but more like the intelligence portion,” Ramirez said.

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SOFTBALL: Pima falls in thriller, takes third at nationals

SOFTBALL: Pima falls in thriller, takes third at nationals

Players and coaches on the Pima Community College softball team shows off their third-place trophy at nationals. (Photo courtesy of PCC)

Players and coaches on the Pima Community College softball team show off their third-place trophy at nationals. (Photo courtesy of PCC)

By STEVE CHOICE

The Pima Community College softball team (50-19) capped off a stellar season with a deep run in the NJCAA playoffs in St. George, Utah, on May 18.

The Aztecs fell 8-5 in 12 innings to eventual runner-up Salt Lake Community College, assuring them of a third-place finish in the tourney.

Salt Lake scored a pair of runs in the top of the 10th to go up 3-1, but Pima wasn’t ready to go back to Arizona. With runners on second and third, sophomore Cynthia Pelayo hit a sacrifice fly to plate one.

The Salt Lake catcher misplayed the throw on the play, and freshman pinch-runner Corrie Ward hustled around to make it 3-3.

Salt Lake again struck with a run in the 11th, and again PCC responded. Sophomore Aubre Carpenter drove in fellow sophomore Alejandra Ortiz with a sac fly to knot it at four apiece.

The coup de grace came for PCC in the 12th, when Salt Lake’s Malia Campos hit a bases-loaded, inside-the-park home run to make it 8-4. The Aztecs managed a run in their half of the frame, but it wasn’t enough.

“The girls gave blood, heart and soul,” head coach Armando Quiroz said after the game.

Quiroz pointed to sophomore pitcher Yvette Alvarez as one reason the Aztecs advanced as far as they did.

Alvarez pitched 35 of the 38 innings PCC played at the tournament, going 4-2 with a shutout and 26 Ks. On offense, she was 7 for 17 and tied the NJCAA national-tournament record with four homers and nine RBIs.

The Indiana State-bound ace was recently named a first-team All-American.

Alvarez and Ortiz were also named to the All-Tournament team. Ortiz went 9 for 22 with two homers, seven RBIs and five runs scored.

Alejandra Ortiz and Yvette Alvarez display their All-Tournament medals. (Photo courtesy of PCC)

Alejandra Ortiz and Yvette Alvarez display their All-Tournament medals. (Photo courtesy of PCC)

Freshman Victoria Mariscal also had an excellent tournament, finishing 7 for 19 with a homer, three doubles and seven RBIs.

If the Aztecs had defeated Salt Lake, they would’ve then needed to beat eventual champion Wallace State Community College (Ala.) twice for the crown.

On May 17, the Aztecs played three contests, going 2-1.

PCC began the day by falling 8-6 to Wallace State, as the Lions struck for six runs in the fifth inning.

Pima bounced back with a 13-3 pasting of Lake Land College (Ill.) in its second game. Sophomore Shawna Comeaux went 3 for 4 with two runs scored.

In its final contest of the day, PCC dropped Butler Community College (Kan.) 6-3. Alvarez went the distance on the mound and also hit a two-run round-tripper. Freshman Danielle Stensby added an RBI single in the fourth inning.

Pima defeated Northeastern Oklahoma A&M 4-0 on May 16. The Aztecs opened the tournament by defeating Paris Junior College (Texas) 6-4 on May 15.

The Aztecs punched their ticket to nationals by twice defeating host and No. 1 seed Central Arizona College on May 4.

The regionals title was the second in a row for a PCC squad that had won 19 of its last 20.

Alvarez, who went  29-12 in the regular season, also did something for the second year in a row, which was win the Most Valuable Player award for the tournament. The Sahuarita High product went 3-0 on the mound, including two complete-game shutouts.

“It felt good to win it again,” Alvarez said. “I felt more relaxed.”

Alvarez struck out ACCAC Player of the Year Jessica Loiacano in the bottom of the ninth to clinch the 6-5 victory, sending Pima to nationals.

The Aztecs erased an early 2-0 deficit with third-inning RBIs by Ortiz and Pelayo. The pair was just getting started, though.

Pelayo then put the Aztecs on top with a two-run triple in the fourth, and Ortiz brought her around with her second double of the contest, giving Pima a 5-2 lead.

PCC held off the Roughriders to claim the win.

Pima blanked Central 6-0 to start the day, as sophomore Noelle Medina and Mariscal each went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.

The second win over Central was Quiroz’s 300th in six seasons at the helm for Pima. He now stands at 304-73-1.

PCC began the tourney on May 3 by defeating Eastern Arizona College 4-0.

Next year, Pima will return eight team members off its current 16-player roster.

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SOFTBALL: Pima finishes stellar campaign

SOFTBALL: Pima finishes stellar campaign

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Sophomore Yvette Alvarez

By ROSE VALENZUELA

The Pima Community College softball team (43-17, 35-13 ACCAC) finished its regular season with an April 27 doubleheader sweep of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on the road. Pima won 11-0 and 10-9.

Sophomore pitcher Yvette Alvarez (26-12) closed out the regular season campaign with a pair of victories on the bump.

Alvarez also had a three-run double in the second inning of game one to stake the Aztecs to an early advantage. She went 2 for 2 with three RBIs in the contest.

Sophomore Shawna Comeaux finished 3 for 4 with four RBIs and a run scored.

In game two, PCC had to rally from behind three times as a four-run seventh helped decide the affair.

Sophomore Alejandra Ortiz went 2 for 3 with two RBIs, while freshman Stacey Ramirez was 3 for 3 with three runs scored.

On April 23, Pima annihilated GateWay Community College at home, winning 21-2 and 20-2.

Alvarez went an astounding 7 for 8 from the plate, knocking four over the fence and collecting 12 RBIs. She also hit a double and a triple.

Sophomore Noelle Medina had her own offensive explosion, going 3 for 4 with four RBIs and three runs scored. Comeaux was 2 for 2.

In game two, sophomore Aubre Carpenter was 3 for 4 with two RBIs, and freshman Victoria Mariscal went 2 for 2 with a pair of runs batted in.

PCC split a home doubleheader against Arizona Western College on April 20, as the squad honored its outgoing players with Sophomore Day.

The sophomores recognized were Gemma Contreras, Cynthia Pelayo, Ortiz, Medina, Carpenter, Alvarez and Comeaux.

The Aztecs won the first game 3-2 as Alvarez pitched a complete game, giving up only two earned runs on 11 hits and striking out seven.

Ramirez scored the winning run in the seventh inning after she went in to pinch-run.

The Aztecs lost the second game 2-1. Contreras finished 2 for 4 with an RBI.

Alvarez took her first loss on the mound since March 19.

Despite the loss, Alvarez was named ACCAC Division I Pitcher of the Week for the week of April 15-21. In that time, she pitched 27 innings with a 1.67 ERA and 15 strikeouts. It was her third consecutive week winning the honor.

Freshman Danielle Stensby took home Player of the Week honors for the same time period, as she went 5 for 10 with two RBIs, two doubles, two walks and three runs scored.

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SOFTBALL: Queens of the road keep winning

SOFTBALL: Queens of the road keep winning

By ROSE VALENZUELA

The Pima Community College softball team (38-16, 30-12 ACCAC) notched its sixth consecutive road sweep and won its 12th straight overall by taking a pair from Eastern Arizona College on April 16.

The triumphs enabled PCC to move into a second-place tie in the conference.

Sophomore pitcher Yvette Alvarez earned both wins on the bump to run her season mark to 21-11. She pitched seven innings with no earned runs in PCC’s 3-1 win in the first contest.

Sophomore Noelle Medina got things started with a solo round-tripper in the second inning, while sophomore Alejandra Ortiz and Alvarez also had RBIs.

In game two, the Aztecs’ offense exploded for a 9-1 victory. PCC had seven doubles in the win, including four in a five-run sixth inning.

Sophomore Aubre Carpenter finished 2 for 2 with two runs scored and an RBI, while freshman Danielle Stensby went 3 for 3 with a pair of runs batted in.

Pima swept Central Arizona Community College at home on April 13. Carpenter was clutch, going 5 for 8 with three RBIs on the day.

Alvarez went the distance in the first game, as the Aztecs won 8-0 in five innings.

In the second game, PCC got out of the gate with three quick runs, then held on to win 3-1.

Medina went 2 for 3 with two RBIs in the contest, while Alvarez had seven strikeouts and one walk.

The women earned a road sweep at GateWay Community College on April 11.

Ortiz had a successful doubleheader, finishing 3 for 7 with four RBIs.

The Aztecs won the first game 5-2 in eight innings, as Alvarez pitched a complete game, giving up one earned run and striking out two.

The second game was also good to the Aztecs, as they claimed a 10-3 victory.

In the fifth inning, sophomore Gemma Contreras and Medina showed their leadership with RBI singles to build Pima’s lead.

The Aztecs couldn’t have won without freshman pitcher Stephanie Vejar, who earned the win after surrendering only three runs on eight hits and three strikeouts.

On April 6, PCC took a pair at Paradise Valley Community College, 10-2 and 13-2.

Alvarez again picked up two victories on the mound, as the Pima offense erupted for 23 total runs of support.

PCC swept Scottsdale Community College 5-2 and 10-3 on the road on April 4.

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SOFTBALL: Ortiz powers Pima sweep in Phoenix

SOFTBALL: Ortiz powers Pima sweep in Phoenix

By ROSE VALENZUELA

The Phoenix College softball team was probably happy to see Aztecs player Alejandra Ortiz board the bus to head back to Tucson on April 2.

The sophomore was a one-person demolition crew for the Pima Community College squad (28-16, 20-12 ACCAC), as it easily swept Phoenix.

Ortiz went 6 for 8 on the day with eight RBIs, five runs scored and a pair of homers.

The Aztecs took game one 9-0, as sophomore pitcher Yvette Alvarez tossed five innings of no-hit ball to improve to 13-11 on the campaign.

PCC pounded the Bears 13-8 in the second game. Ortiz nearly hit for the cycle, collecting a double, a triple and a home run in the contest.

Freshman hurler Corrie Ward picked up the victory to run her season mark to 4-1. Freshman Stephanie Vejar earned the save.

The team split a home doubleheader against South Mountain Community College on March 30.

Pima won the first game 7-2, as Alvarez pitched a complete game with four strikeouts and no walks.

Sophomores Noelle Medina and Shawna Comeaux contributed RBIs to help the Aztecs open the lead in the sixth inning.

Medina hit a two-run double, and Comeaux had an RBI single to make it 6-2. Freshman Danielle Stensby then knocked in Comeaux on a sac fly to account for the final run.

The Aztecs fell 11-4 in the second game. Vejar took the loss after pitching 3 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits with one strikeout and one walk.

Pima took a pair from Glendale Community College on March 26. Alvarez picked up both wins on the hill in the road sweep.

After Glendale had swept the Aztecs in a February doubleheader, Pima didn’t waste any time in taking its revenge. PCC scored 10 runs in the first inning of game one, and cruised to a 14-1 victory in five innings.

Ortiz had a pair of two-run hits in the first inning as PCC batted around. Sophomores Gemma Contreras and Aubre Carpenter each had a pair of RBIs in the frame as well.

Medina launched a three-run home run in the third inning.

PCC won the second game 8-0 in six innings. Alvarez had a great game, recording six strikeouts and one walk. She also hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, finishing 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Comeaux and freshman Stacey Ramirez also contributed RBIs to help the Aztecs pull out the win.

On March 23, PCC split a road double-dip with Mesa Community College. Pima won game one 3-0, as Alvarez threw a complete-game shutout. Mesa took the second contest 6-2.

The Aztecs will be on the road to face Scottsdale Community College on April 4. First pitch is scheduled for noon.

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SOFTBALL: Pima splits with South Mountain

SOFTBALL: Pima splits with South Mountain

By ROSE VALENZUELA

The Pima Community College softball team (26-16, 18-12 ACCAC) split a home doubleheader with South Mountain Community College on March 30.

PCC took game one 7-2, as sophomore pitcher Yvette Alvarez won her fourth consecutive decision. Alvarez (12-11) went the distance, giving up two runs on six hits and four strikeouts. She didn’t allow a walk in the contest.

Sophomore Noelle Medina hit a two-run double, while sophomore Gemma Contreras went 2 for 3 with a double and two stolen bases.

Freshman Stephanie Vejar (11-4) took the loss in the second game, as South Mountain prevailed 3-1.

Sophomore Aubre Carpenter was 3 for 3 from the plate.

PCC turned the tables on Glendale Community College on March 26, going on the road to sweep the Gauchos 14-1 and 8-0.

Glendale had swept the Aztecs in Tucson on Feb. 9.

Alvarez picked up a pair of victories.

Sophomore catcher Alejandra Ortiz had two RBI singles in the first inning of game one, and finished with four RBIs. Medina launched a three-run bomb in the third inning to put Pima up 13-1.

In game two, Alvarez went the distance, striking out six and walking one. She also went 3 for 4 from the plate, including a solo round-tripper in the fourth inning.

Sophomore Shawna Comeaux went 2 for 3 with two RBIs, while freshman Stacey Ramirez swiped three bases.

Pima split a road doubleheader against Yavapai College on March 19, losing the first contest 3-2 before coming back to stomp the Roughriders 14-3 in game two.

Though she went the distance, Alvarez took the loss in the first game, giving up three earned runs on seven hits. She struck out four, and dropped to 8-11 on the season.

PCC exploded with three homers in the second contest, and scored six runs in the third and fifth innings.

Medina started the carousel with a two-run bomb in the first. She also had a double and scored two runs in the game.

Sophomores Cynthia Pelayo and Ortiz also went deep for Pima.

Vejar notched her 10th victory against just two losses this season, giving up three runs on six hits.

PCC took part in the Deanna Mauer Classic in Casa Grande on March 15-16. The Aztecs split a pair of games on the second day.

The Aztecs dropped their first game 4-2 in extra innings to Clackamas County Community College (Ore.).

Freshman Stephanie Ramirez drove in Medina in the seventh to knot it at two, but Pima couldn’t hold off Clackamas.

Medina was 2 for 3 with two runs scored in the game. Alvarez absorbed the loss on the mound.

In game two, Pima downed Odessa College (Texas) by a final of 6-1.

Freshman pitcher Corrie Ward went the distance to run her mark to 2-1 on the year. Ward gave up one run on nine hits, striking out four and walking two.

Freshman Alyssa Guevara stroked a two-run RBI double in the fifth inning, while Alvarez went deep with a two-run bomb in the sixth.

Pelayo went 3 for 3 with a double in the contest.

On March 15, Howard College (Texas) blanked PCC 2-0 in the Aztecs’ first game of the day.

Alvarez had a good outing, but took the loss after surrendering two solo home runs. She gave up four hits and fanned five.

Pima only managed three hits against the stingy Howard pitching.

In its second game, PCC lost to Illinois Central College 5-3. Alvarez took the loss after coming in to relieve Vejar.

PCC scored a home sweep over Chandler-Gilbert Community College on March 12.

In game one, the Aztecs turned a 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth. PCC held on to win by the same score.

Alvarez picked up the win on the mound. She gave up three runs on eight hits, striking out five.

PCC pounded the visitors 12-1 in the second contest, as Vejar notched the victory.

Carpenter had a two-run RBI triple, and also scored twice. Alvarez went 2 for 2 with three RBIs and a pair of walks.

 

ON DECK

April 2:  @ Phoenix College, 1 p.m.

 

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SOFTBALL: Aztecs split games in Casa Grande

SOFTBALL: Aztecs split games in Casa Grande

By ROSE VALENZUELA

The Pima Community College softball team stands at 19-13 overall and 13-9 in the conference after splitting a pair of games at the Deanna Mauer Classic in Casa Grande on March 16.

The Aztecs dropped their first game of the day 4-2 in extra innings to Clackamas County Community College (Ore.).

Freshman Stephanie Ramirez drove in sophomore Noelle Medina in the seventh to knot it at two, but Pima couldn’t hold off Clackamas.

Medina was 2 for 3 with two runs scored in the game. On the mound, sophomore Yvette Alvarez absorbed the loss to drop to 8-10 on the year.

In game two, Pima downed Odessa College (Texas) by a final of 6-1.

Freshman pitcher Corrie Ward went the distance to run her mark to 2-1 on the year. Ward gave up one run on nine hits, striking out four and walking two.

Freshman Alyssa Guevara stroked a two-run RBI double in the fifth inning, while Alvarez went deep with a two-run bomb in the sixth.

Sophomore Cynthia Pelayo went 3 for 3 with a double in the contest.

On March 15, Howard College (Texas) blanked PCC 2-0 in the Aztecs’ first game of the day.

Alvarez had a good outing, but took the loss after surrendering two solo home runs. She gave up four hits and fanned five.

Pima only managed three hits against stingy Howard pitching.

In its second game, PCC lost to Illinois Central College 5-3. Alvarez took the loss after coming in to relieve freshman Stephanie Vejar.

PCC scored a home sweep over Chandler-Gilbert Community College on March 12.

In game one, the Aztecs turned a 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth. PCC held on to win by the same score.

Alvarez picked up the win on the mound. She gave up three runs on eight hits, striking out five.

PCC pounded the visitors 12-1 in the second contest, as Vejar notched the victory. She stands at 9-2 for the season.

Sophomore shortstop Aubre Carpenter had a two-run RBI triple, and also scored twice. Alvarez went 2 for 2 with three RBIs and a pair of walks.

PCC split a road doubleheader against Arizona Western College on March 5. The Aztecs fell 5-4 in game one, then came back to take the second game 10-3.

Carpenter’s RBI double gave Pima a 4-3 lead in the top half of the seventh in the first contest, but Western came back with a pair in the bottom half of the inning to win it.

Alvarez took the loss on the mound.

PCC exploded for four runs in both the third and fourth frames in game two, as sophomore outfielder Gemma Contreras went 4 for 4 from the plate.

Pelayo finished 3 for 5, and swiped two bases. Vejar was the winning pitcher.

The women dropped a home doubleheader against Eastern Arizona College on March 2, falling 3-1 and 11-1.

In game one, sophomore catcher Alejandra Ortiz got the Aztecs on the board in the sixth inning with an RBI single, bringing in Pelayo.

Alvarez was the losing pitcher.

In the second game, freshman Victoria Mariscal had the lone Pima RBI, knocking in Ortiz in the second inning.

Ward took the loss on the mound.

The women dropped two games on Feb. 26 at Central Arizona College.

The Aztecs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first game, but Central came back and defeated the visitors 4-3.

Pelayo had an RBI double and a run scored, and sophomore Shawna Comeaux hit a two-run double in the third inning.

Alvarez took the loss, giving up three earned runs and striking out four.

The Aztecs again had an early lead in the second game, but Central took another 4-3 decision.

Alvarez and Ortiz had RBIs in the second inning to stake PCC to a 2-0 advantage, and Ortiz later drove in Pima’s other run.

Central tallied three in the bottom of the fifth to salt it away.

Vejar went 4 2/3 innings, surrendering four runs on nine hits.

On Feb. 23, the Aztecs swept Monroe College (New York) at home, 8-0 and 4-3.

Mariscal, Medina and freshman Danielle Stensby all had RBI doubles in the first contest.

Alvarez earned the victory, and Vejar picked up the save.

In game two, Ward pitched 5 1/3 innings for the win, giving up six hits and striking out two.

Alvarez ripped a two-run double in the first inning, and Pima held on for the victory.

PCC demolished Paradise Valley Community College at home on Feb. 19, scoring 33 runs in the double-dip sweep.

Pima won game one 18-1 in five innings, then came back to blast the visitors 15-7 in the second contest.

The Aztecs return to action on March 19 in Prescott against Yavapai College. First pitch is scheduled for noon.

ON DECK

March 19:  @ Yavapai College, Prescott, noon

 

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SOFTBALL: PCC gets off to a hot start

SOFTBALL: PCC gets off to a hot start

By ROSE VALENZUELA

Sophomore Amber Urias-Calvilo catches the ball to tag the runner at first base on Feb. 2. (Aztec Press photo by Rose Valenzuela)

Sophomore Amber Urias-Calvilo catches the ball to tag the runner at first base on Feb. 2. (Aztec Press photo by Rose Valenzuela)

The Pima Community College softball team is off and running in 2013. The Aztecs have bolted out to an 8-2 mark, including 5-1 in the ACCAC.PCC swept Mesa Community College at home on Feb. 5, 3-0 and 12-3.

Sophomore hurler Yvette Alvarez picked up the victory in game one to run her season mark to 4-2.

Sophomore catcher Alejandra Ortiz broke open a scoreless affair with a three-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning to win it for Pima.

Alvarez belted a three-run homer in game two to stake the Aztecs to a 4-2 lead in the first. She went 3 for 3 on the game, with six RBIs. Gemma Contreras finished 3 for 3 in the game as well.

Pima split a pair at home against long-time rival Yavapai College on Feb. 2, losing 4-3 in the opener and taking the second game 7-5.

The Roughriders scored a pair in the bottom half of the 6th inning to provide their margin of victory in game one.

Alvarez pitched seven innings in the losing effort, striking out six and walking two.

Sophomore Noelle Medina finished 3 for 3 with a solo homer. Sophomore Cynthia Pelayo had a double and a run scored.

The second game had its own dramatics, but this time in the Aztecs’ favor.

With the score tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 6th, Alvarez launched a two-run bomb to give Pima the lead.

Sophomore Shawna Comeaux and freshman Victoria Mariscal each had a double and a run scored in the game.

On Jan. 29, PCC roughed up Scottsdale Community College in a home doubleheader, 9-1 and 10-1.

Ortiz finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs in game one. Contreras went 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

Alvarez picked up the victory on the mound.

Freshman Danielle Stensby had a two-run RBI double in the second game, and freshman hurler Stephanie Vejar picked up the win.

The squad started off its season in Henderson, Nev., on Jan. 25-27, going 3-1 in a weekend tournament.

The Aztecs dominated in their first game, pounding El Paso Community College 17-6 on the first day. They also pulled out a 5-4 squeaker over Snow College (Utah) the same day.

Comeaux, Ortiz and Pelayo all had big days at the plate to help the Aztecs to the victories.

Comeaux went 4 for 4 against El Paso, including a three-run homer. She had four runs batted in and two runs scored for the game.

Ortiz also hit a home run, and Pelayo went 4 for 5 with three RBIs, two runs scored and three stolen bases.

Alvarez and Pelayo provided big hits for the Aztecs to help them pull out the second game.

PCC’s Saturday games were cancelled due to weather, so the Aztecs had to wait until the next day to finish out the tournament.

They split their two games on the final day of the tourney.

The Aztecs destroyed Western Nevada College 20-2 to start the day.

Comeaux, Ortiz and Pelayo had another huge game, and Contreras went 2 for 2 with an RBI.

Vejar pitched five innings, giving up two runs on five hits.

The Aztecs lost the second game 7-4 in extra innings against tournament host Southern Nevada College.

Pima returns to action at West Campus against Glendale Community College on Feb. 9.

ON DECK

Feb. 9:  Glendale CC, West Campus, noon

Feb. 12:  @ South Mountain CC, Phoenix, 1 p.m.

Feb. 16:  Phoenix College, West Campus, noon

Feb. 19:  Paradise Valley CC, West Campus, 1 p.m.

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SOFTBALL: Veterans step up to the plate

SOFTBALL: Veterans step up to the plate

By ROSE VALENZUELA

It’s that time of year again, as the Pima Community College softball team returns for a new season.

After having morning practices while others slept in the fall, as well as practicing every day after class, these women seem as if they are prepared for almost anything, and are ready to dominate the upcoming season.

“We did workouts every day in the fall,” returning second baseman Noelle Medina said. “Even though it was hard to get up early in the mornings, we were dedicated. We cannot afford to take days off if we want to continue to be the best there is.”

After the successful season they had last year, the Aztecs know they have a huge target on their backs.

“We lost some key players in our lineup, but I’m pretty confident that our freshmen will fill those spots and get the job done,” Medina said.

Losing key players also means there is room for other players to help the team.

The Aztecs lost nine key cogs from last year’s squad, but have added six incoming freshmen.

Medina thinks this year’s freshmen are up to the challenge.

“They are all hardworking, and always want to improve,” she said. “The work ethic is a lot better this year, and I think our freshman have a lot to do with that.”

“We have a lot of experience returning, which is good,” head coach Armando Quiroz said. “I like the balance that we have. Our defense is always better than our offense when the season starts, but we are working on balancing that out.”

The eight returning players are getting looks from four-year colleges, including All-American outfielder Cynthia Pelayo.

The other seven returning Aztecs are Aubre Carpenter, Alejandra Ortiz, Medina, Gemma Contreras, Shawna Comeaux, Ambar Urias-Calvillo and Yvette Alvarez.

Pima will start its season Jan. 25 in Henderson, Nev. PCC’s first home game will be against Scottsdale Community College on Jan. 29 at West Campus. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

 

 

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BASEBALL, SOFTBALL: Fall ball in full swing at West Campus

BASEBALL, SOFTBALL: Fall ball in full swing at West Campus

By STEVE CHOICE

People might suspect that the baseball and softball diamonds at Pima Community College’s West Campus lay dormant during the offseason.

But those suspicions would be off base.

The two squads can be found between the lines this time of year, practicing and playing exhibition games to keep their skills sharp and allow coaches a valuable look at their players.

“These fall practices are a necessity, and absolutely a positive thing,” said head softball coach Armando Quiroz. “We need this because we have to find out the culture of our team, and figure out the strengths and weaknesses we have.

“Playing 19 games like this, we get to experiment and see a lot of things.”

Though they’re not playing for keeps, Quiroz is aware of how much his players want to win the exhibition contests.

“We say to the team, ‘Winning’s not the thing here; we’re trying to build the team,’” he said. “But once the games start, that competitiveness takes over.

“Yeah, we’re trying to build, but we’re also trying to win. That competitiveness never goes away. It’s kind of like spring training, but you still don’t want to lose.”

Luckily for them, losing isn’t something Quiroz’s players have had to deal with yet this fall, going undefeated in six tries.

The PCC baseball team has also been getting in some fall reps, both in practices and exhibition games. Freshman shortstop Devon Carrillo definitely sees the value in it.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Carrillo said. “The sophomores really help us out a lot by showing us how coach (Jason) Hisey wants stuff to be and what’s expected of us.”

Sophomore starting pitcher Keith Zuniga echoed his teammate’s thoughts.

“We’re able to help out the freshmen as far as showing them what coach wants, and just getting them more familiar with the college game.”

Sophomore hurler Yvette Alvarez is another Aztec who appreciates the opportunity to help her coaches mentor new teammates.

“We’ve been providing some good leadership to the freshmen,” she said. “Just kind of showing them what the expectations are at this level and stuff.”

Freshman catcher and infielder Danielle Stensby says the extra time has helped her get accustomed to the added pressures of college ball.

“I was nervous at first,” she said. “It was nice to be able to get the jitters out in an exhibition game.”

The Aztecs will get the opportunity to play a Division I team on Oct. 6-7, as they hit the road for four games against the University of Texas at El Paso.

Fans hoping to catch the team at home can do so on Sept. 29, as PCC takes on the New Mexico All-Stars, a club team.

Pima will also compete in the University of Arizona’s Fall Classic at Hillenbrand Stadium on Oct. 12-14.

The Aztecs are scheduled to play the UA and the University of New Mexico at the tournament, among other teams.

The baseball team will next be at home on Sept. 29 to take on the Albuquerque (N.M.) Baseball Academy squad.

For full schedules and more information on fall baseball and softball, visit www.pima.edu/current-students/athletics.

 

 

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SOFTBALL: Two players named All-Americans

SOFTBALL: Two players named All-Americans

Compiled from PCC press releases
Two Pima Community College softball players were selected as All-Americans by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
Sophomore Mari Contreras was one of four pitchers selected to the First Team. Freshman Cynthia Pelayo was one of four outfielders who made the Second Team.
Both players became eligible for the All-American teams because they were named to the First Team All-West Region.
For the complete NFCA All-American list go to:
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Three Pima Community College softball players received national recognition as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association released its All-Region teams on May 31. The Aztecs were recognized in the West Region.
Sophomore pitcher Marina Contreras and freshman outfielder Cynthia Pelayo made the 1st Team while sophomore third baseman Jessica Sipe was selected to the 2nd Team.
Contreras and Pelayo are eligible for All-American consideration. Contreras was one of five pitchers selected while Pelayo was one of the four outfielders. Sipe was one of the six infielders selected.
The complete list can be found at this website:
The Pima Community College softball team’s season came to end May 19 as the No. 4 Aztecs lost 5-2 to No. 9 Wallace State Community College (Alabama).
The Aztecs finished the national tournament in 4th place and closed out their season with a 56-15 overall record.
Pima got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Jessica Schneider hit a RBI single that brought around two runs and gave Pima a 2-0 lead. Wallace State cut the lead to 2-1 after Michal Robertson hit a leadoff solo homerun in the top of the 4th. Wallace State scored four more runs in the top of the 5th inning. Schneider finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Nicole Rascon went 1-for-3 with a run scored and a double.
Yvette Alvarez took the loss and finished the season with a record of 24-8. She pitched 4 and two-third innings, giving up five runs with two strikeouts and one walk. Mari Contreras came in for relief and struck out six of the eight batters she faced.
Player notes: Sophomore outfielder Nicole Rascon signed to play for Florida International next year. Sophomore third baseman Jessica Sipe verbally committed this week to play for New Mexico State University.
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The Pima Community College softball team reached the final four of the NJCAA national tournament, but must win four games in a row to capture the championship.
On May 18, the No. 5 Aztecs lost to No. 1 Chattanooga State Community College (Tennessee) 8-3 but fought back in the afternoon game to defeat Northeastern Oklahoma A & M College 7-4.
Much like its game against Chattanooga State earlier in the day, the Aztecs started off quick but this time the lead stayed with them against Northeastern Oklahoma. Pima hit three home runs to trigger the offense.
Alejandra Ortiz hit a two-run homer in the 4th inning to give the Aztecs a 3-0 lead. Jessica Sipe hit a solo homer in the 4th inning and Pima led 4-1 at that point. Noelle Medina smacked a two-run homer in the 6th inning to give the Aztecs their biggest lead at 7-2. Yvette Alvarez pitched five innings giving up two runs with three strikeouts. She earned her 24th win of the season.

 

 

In the early game, the Aztecs took an early lead against Chattanooga State when Jessica Schneider hit an RBI single in the 1st inning. In the 2nd inning with bases loaded, Aubre Carpenter drew the walk to bring in another run. Chattanooga State took the lead with a grand slam in the 4th. The Aztecs came back in the 5th inning when Carpenter hit a ball in the outfield that scored Nicole Rascon to make it 4-3. Chattanooga State scored two runs each in the 6th and 7th innings to help seal it.

 

 

Pima plays Wallace State Community College (Alabama) in the 10 a.m. (9 a.m. Tucson time) game May 19. If the Aztecs win, they will have a rematch with Chattanooga, which lost to Salt Lake Community College 4-1 in Friday’s late game. The game against Chattanooga will be at noon (11 a.m. Tucson time). If the Aztecs continue to win, they’ll play at 2 p.m. (1 p.m. Tucson time) and in the championship game at 4 p.m. (3 p.m. Tucson time).

 

The Pima Community College softball team advanced in the winner’s bracket in dramatic fashion by defeating No. 5 State College of Florida 3-2 on the second game of the day in the NJCAA national tournament.
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the 7th inning with two outs, Shawna Comeaux hit a RBI double that scored pinch runner Jacqueline Deen to tie the game. In the bottom of the 8th with one out, Nicole Rascon hit a triple. Jessica Schneider  stepped up with two outs and hit a RBI single to win it for the Aztecs.
The Aztecs will play No. 1 seed Chattanooga State Community College (Tennessee) on May 18 at 1 p.m. If they win, they’ll play at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. Tucson time) but a loss will put them in the 4:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. Tucson time) game.
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The Pima Community College softball team made a strong opening statement in its first game as part of the NJCAA national tournament in St. George, Utah.
Down 3-2 in the bottom of the 6th inning, the No. 4 seeded Aztecs used a five-run 6th inning to help beat No. 13 Butler Community College (Kansas) 7-4.
Alejandra Ortiz hit a 3-run homerun as part of that inning to give the Aztecs the 5-3 lead. Jessica Sipe hit a RBI double that brought around two more runs. Ortiz finished the game going 2 for 3 with four RBIs and a run scored. Sipe was 2 for 4 with three RBIs.
Mari Contreras pitched 5 and-one-third innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk. With Pima trailing 3-2, Yvette Alvarez came in for relief. Alvarez pitched the last 1 and two-third innings and picked up the win for the Aztecs. She is 22-6 on the season.
The Aztecs play May 17 at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. Tucson time) against No. 5 seed State College of Florida. If the Aztecs win, they won’t play until 1 p.m. (noon Tucson time) on Friday. If they lose, the game will be at 10 a.m. (9 a.m. Tucson time)

By STEVE CHOICE

The Pima Community College softball team entered regional tournament play on May 5 needing three consecutive victories to qualify for nationals. Luckily, that’s exactly what it got.

The Aztecs defeated arch rival Yavapai College twice and Eastern Arizona College once to punch their tickets to St. George, Utah, where the national tournament will be played on May 17-19.

Any loss on day two of the double-elimination tournament would’ve sent Pima packing for the year, since PCC split its two games the first day.

Pima dropped a 3-0 decision to Eastern Arizona College to start day one. The Aztecs then took a 6-0 decision against Central Arizona College, setting the stage for the next day’s heroics.

Pima started the second day by knocking off EAC 7-2.

Freshman pitcher Yvette Alvarez went the distance for Pima, surrendering only four hits and striking out five. Sophomore Nicole Rascon starred at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Freshman Cynthia Pelayo also added a solo home run.

That left the Aztecs needing two victories against Yavapai to advance.

The pitching matchup for the first game pitted Alvarez versus Tucson native Estela Piñon, who had dominated PCC twice earlier in the year.

Alvarez turned the tables on her counterpart, as Pima rode a six-run sixth inning to a convincing 9-0 win.

Jessica Schneider had a big game with the bat, knocking in six. The sophomore went 3-for-4, including a round-tripper and a double. Freshmen Amber Calvillo and Aubre Carpenter each scored twice.

The Aztecs again turned to Alvarez in the final game. She pitched the first six innings of the 9-6 Pima triumph, leaving in the seventh with Roughriders on second and third and no outs.

Sophomore Mari Contreras came in to dash YC’s hopes, recording three straight outs for the save.

Pima also used the long ball to put Yavapai away, as freshman Noelle Medina launched a grand slam in a five-run third inning. Schneider added another blast in the first.

Alvarez pitched 20 of the 21 innings Pima played in the three-game set. She was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

The squad also had numerous players receive All-ACCAC and All-Region 1 recognition:

First team all-conference

Jessica Schneider

Nicole Rascon

Mari Contreras

Second team all-conference

Jessica Sipe

Gemma Contreras

Cynthia Pelayo

Third team all-conference

Aubre Carpenter

Yvette Alvarez

All-region

Mari Contreras

Jessica Schneider

Nicole Rascon

Gemma Contreras

 

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By STEVE CHOICE

 The Pima Community College softball team finished the regular season the same way it played most of it – red hot.

The Aztecs tapped into some “sophomore day” energy on April 28 to easily sweep Mesa Community College at home, 9-1 and 7-0.

Seven PCC sophomores played their final games at West Campus, and were honored by family members, friends and teammates in a postgame ceremony at home plate.

“It was a sad day, just knowing it’s the last day I’m going to play here,” sophomore pitcher Mari Contreras said. “We had extra motivation because it’s sophomore day.”

Contreras, who will continue her career at the University of Texas-El Paso next year, turned in a dominant performance in game one of the double-dip. The future Miner surrendered just two hits and struck out eight to run her record to 20-5.

Sophomore pitcher Monet Ormsby also shut down MCC in game two. She finished a spotless regular season at 8-0.

Freshman Aubre Carpenter had a busy day at the plate, going 5-for-8, including two doubles. Sophomore Jessica Sipe also contributed, going 2-for-4 in game one, with three RBIs. Fellow sophomore Jessica Schneider erupted for two homers in the nightcap, tallying five RBIs.

The other three sophomores honored in the ceremony were Nicole Rascon, Kristi Shepherd and Jacqueline Deen.

PCC split a doubleheader against archrival Yavapai College on April 24, losing game one 4-0 and taking the nightcap 9-2.

Pima also took a pair from Phoenix College on April 21.

The Aztecs finished at 49-12 for the regular season, including 39-9 in conference play.

Next up for PCC will be the regional tournament in Prescott, with Yavapai as host.

Four teams there will vie for a lone berth to the NJCAA Division I national tournament in St. George, Utah, on May 17-19.

Contreras is feeling good about the Aztecs’ chances to make it through, but she knows Yavapai is one team standing in their way.

“It proved a lot by us beating them, because we hadn’t beaten them since I don’t remember when,” she said. “Our goal is to win regionals. I know we can do it.”

Pima opens regional play against Eastern Arizona College on May 4 at 10 a.m.

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