By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ
The Pima Community College’s softball team (11-4, 9-3 in ACCAC) continues to play great at home giving up only one lose so far this season. The Aztecs played Paradise Valley CC on Feb. 24 after the Aztec Press went to print.
The Aztecs split against No. 4 Phoenix College on Feb. 21 at the West Campus giving up their first home lose.
Sophomore Jackie Hernandez had a great game at the plate as she went 3 for 4. She hit an RBI double in the beginning of the game and a two-run RBI single later to put the Aztecs up 4-0. She finished with three RBIs.
Freshman Araceli Peralta scored twice on Hernandez’s hits and had an RBI single of her own. She went 2-3 with two runs and an RBI for the game.
“As a team we should be able to compete with anyone” said Peralta.
Sophomore Alexis Alfonso picked up the win as she pitched six and two-third innings giving up two runs on 11 hits with six strikeouts and three walks.
Freshman Odalis Orduno grabbed the save after she got the final groundout to end the game. The Aztecs dropped the second game to Phoenix College 2-6.
Orduno shut out Phoenix for the final four innings as she pitched four and two-third innings and gave up two on seven hits with one strikeout and one walk.
Hernandez was 2 for 4 with a run scored while freshman Christina Olivas finished 1 for 3 with a run scored and Ayala went 1 for 4 with an RBI. Sophomore Taylor Fabing went 2 for 3 for the game.
The Aztecs fell 7-5 in the first game against South Mountain CC on Feb. 17.
Alfonso took the loss as she pitched one and one-third innings giving up seven runs on 11 hits. Division II Player of the Week Sophomore Keona Hunter went 3 for 4 with an RBI, and scored a triple.
Pima gave up five runs early as they lost 10-5 in the second game. Freshman Emily Robinson took the loss after she pitched three and two-third innings giving up 10 runs on 10 hits.
Orduno pitched two innings and gave up one hit.
Down 10-2 the Aztecs attempted a rally mid-way through the game.
Olivas hit a two-run home run and Fabing hit a solo homer of her own. Olivas and Fabing both finished the game 1 for 3.
Ayala was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored while Peralta was 2 for 4 with a run scored.
Sophomore Paige Castro finished 1 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Hunter helped the Aztecs to a 6-0 record for the week with doubleheader sweeps against Mesa Community College, Yavapai College and Glendale Community College.
Hunter went 9 for 17 with 10 runs scored, eight steals, three walks and three RBIs.
The Aztecs won their first game 2-1 against Glendale CC on Feb. 14. Alfonso pitched a complete-game and gave up only one run.
Ayala finished the day 3 for 6 with two RBIs and two runs scored as pitchers Alfonso and Robinson picked up the wins.
The Aztecs scored both of their runs early. Ayala hit a two-run RBI single scoring Hunter and Hernandez, Ayala finished 1 for 3 with two RBIs while Hunter went 2 for 2 with a run scored, a double and two stolen bases.
In the second game, Fabing broke a 3-3 tie when she hit a RBI leading the Aztecs to a narrow 4-3 win.
Ayala hit a double and stole third base on a passed ball to set up Fabing’s eventual game-winning hit.
Glendale took a 2-0 lead into the third but the Aztecs scored three runs to take the lead.
Olivas hit a two-run RBI double and Freshman Sierra Cuestas had a fielder’s choice RBI.
Robinson pitched a complete-game giving up three runs on seven hits with one strikeout and one walk.
By DEANNA SHERMAN
The Pima Community College softball team (6-1, 4-0 in ACCAC) picked up its second straight conference sweep on Feb. 10 at the West Campus.
The Aztecs beat Mesa Community College as the pitching staff of sophomore Alexis Alfonso and freshman Odalis Orduno held the Mesa offense.
Sophomore Brianna Quiroz went 4 for 4 with two RBIs and a sacrifice for the day.
Alfonso picked up the win after she went four innings and gave up one run (one earned) on two hits with two strikeouts.
Pima started off ACCAC conference play on Feb. 3 in a big way as it swept Scottsdale Community College at the West Campus.
Alfonso pitched a complete-game shutout as the Aztecs won the first game 1-0.
Down 5-3 heading into the fourth, the Aztecs loaded the bases and Fabing stepped up and hit a grand-slam to right field to put the Aztecs up 7-5.
PCC played three games to open the 2015 season on Jan. 31 in Henderson, NV.
The Aztecs went 2-1 in the first day of the College of Southern Nevada Kick-Off Classic.
Freshman Sierra Cuestas finished 7 for 7 with a walk in the three games.
Sophomore Jackie Hernandez was 5 for 12 with five RBIs while freshman Araceli Peralta went 6 for 9 with seven runs scored.
Pima lost the final game of the day against the College of Southern Nevada 13-4 in five innings.
Alfonzo took the loss (1-1) after pitching 2/3 of an inning.
Peralta was 1 for 2 with two runs and an RBI for the game.
Cuestas was 2 for 2 with a run scored.
Pima’s second game went into extra innings but the Aztecs upset No. 18 Salt Lake City Community College (Division I) 6-5 in eight innings.
The Aztecs trailed 4-0 after three innings and broke the tie in the eighth when Christine Olivas (Freshman) had the game-winning RBI.
Feb. 12: Yavapai College,
West Campus, 1 p.m.
Feb. 14: Glendale CC,
West Campus, noon
Feb. 17: @ South Mountain CC, Phoenix, 1 p.m.
Feb. 21: Phoenix College,
West Campus, noon
Feb. 24: Paradise Valley CC,
West Campus, 1 p.m.
By DIEGO LOZANO III
Pima Community College’s fall sports teams have kicked off their seasons, which means new student-athletes have arrived to fill the void of past student alumni.
A number of former Aztecs will equally fill the void for universities at the next level. Here’s a look at some key signings that took place over the summer.
Softball Former Aztec slugger Alexis Dotson will stay local but receive an opportunity to shine under the bright lights of Hillenbrand Stadium as an Arizona Wildcat. Dotson was selected as an NJCAA First-Team All-American during Pima’s 2014 campaign. Stacey Ramirez, a former Pima shortstop, will head to Canyon, Texas, to play for the West Texas A&M Buffaloes.
Baseball Former baseball players Cole Plouck and Kellen Marruffo will not only continue their careers as student-athletes but potentially as professionals. Plouck was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 16th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball draft. He signed a letter of intent to play at Florida International University. Marruffo was also named First-Team All-ACCAC. He will suit up for the University of Utah.
Basketball Women’s basketball made a strong run during last season’s ACCAC playoffs, but many of the team’s main contributors will not be on the Aztec bench in 2014. Alicia Jones has relocated to Tallahassee to play for Florida A&M University. At Pima, Jones averaged 14 points. Her former teammate Raja Moreno-Ross will be across the globe at the University of Hawaii in Hilo. Moreno-Ross was named a NJCAA First-Team All-American last season.
On the men’s side, Shakir Smith led the NJCAA Division II in scoring with more than 29 points per game. Against Phoenix College, the eventual Division II national champions, Smith racked up 54 points in Pima’s thrilling overtime 108-104 loss. Smith should prep for a cold winter at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colo.
By BETO HOYOS
The Pima Community College softball season came to an end May 10 at Arizona Western College in Yuma. The Aztecs finished the season with a 29-30 record.
No. 4 seed PCC reached the championship series of the Region I, Division I tournament playoffs but fell 6-0 to No. 1 AWC in the first game.
AWC scored four runs in the first inning after capitalizing on errors, then scored two more runs in the sixth inning. The Aztecs left nine runners stranded on base and made five errors during the game.
Pima had five hits, with sophomore Stacey Ramirez and freshman Alexis Dotson going 2 for 3. Sophomore Valerie Luera finished 1 for 2.
Sophomore Stephanie Vejar took the loss, dropping her record to 13-13 for the season. She gave up six runs, four earned, on seven hits with one strikeout and one walk.
Ramirez and sophomore Victoria Mariscal both said the Aztecs had nothing to lose.
“I wasn’t too happy about the season but in the end, when it all mattered. we showed up and proved ourselves,” Ramirez said.
“In the playoffs, we just came together and played for each other so I couldn’t have asked for anything else,” she added. “We finished with everything we had.”
Mariscal said the season was bittersweet.
“We had it really rough during the regular season, so rough it seemed we almost gave up,” she said. “But we knew we had an opportunity at regionals and we looked at the regular season as practice games to better ourselves.”
The team showed a lot of heart during the playoffs, Mariscal added. “Not many teams can say they did what we did, and I’m so proud of all the girls. I wouldn’t change them for the world.”
In an earlier game on May 10, the Aztecs eliminated No. 2 seed Eastern Arizona College with an 8-0 shutout.
Freshman pitcher Celina Martinez improved her overall record to 9-12 after giving up six hits with two strikeouts and one walk. She set down Eastern in order with three straight pop-ups to close the game.
Dotson got the Aztecs on the scoreboard in the third inning when she led off with a double, and later scored off of a groundout by sophomore Danielle Strensby. Dotson scored her second run in the fifth inning when Luera hit into a fielder’s choice.
Mariscal hit a sacrifice-fly RBI to score freshman Jackie Hernandez to make it 3-0.
Pima added another run in the sixth inning when Dotson hit an RBI double to score freshman Ariana Murrieta, but the Aztecs really turned it on in the seventh when they scored four runs.
Freshman Alyssa Montoya hit a bunt single RBI to score Mariscal, and Dotson hit a three-run RBI triple plating freshman Taylor Fabing, Ramirez and Montoya.
Dotson went 4 for 5 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Mariscal and Montoya each had an RBI and a run scored.
The Aztecs eliminated No. 3 Central Arizona College on May 9.
Both Eastern Arizona College and Central Arizona College swept the Aztecs during the regular season.
Pima advances in regional playoffs
By ANDREW PAXTON
The Pima Community College softball team was on the brink of elimination before a couple of its stars saved the day.
Having already lost the first game of the Region I, Division I tournament on May 9, PCC was down late in the second game before rallying for the dramatic victory.
The fourth-ranked Aztecs were down to No. 3 seed Central Arizona College 7-2 in the fourth inning before storming back.
Pima scored four runs in the fifth inning and two in the sixth to pull within a single point of Central.
Sophomore Danielle Stensby completed the comeback with an RBI single, followed by sophomore Valerie Luera’s go-ahead RBI single.
Sophomore Victoria Mariscal gunned down a runner at the plate in the seventh inning to maintain the 8-7 lead.
Sophomore Stephanie Vejar pitched a complete game, earning three strikeouts and improving her record to 13-12 on the season.
Mariscal finished the game 2 for 4, including a two-RBI double, while freshman Alexis Dotson went 3 for 4, hitting two triples and a double and scoring two runs.
Pima started the day with a tough 3-0 defeat to No. 1 seed Arizona Western. Freshman Celina Martinez took the loss.
The Aztecs will need to win three games on Saturday to qualify for the NJCAA National Tournament.
Pima will play whichever team loses between Arizona Western and Eastern Arizona College. The game will start at 11 a.m. in Yuma.
By BETO HOYOS
The Pima Community College softball team will be the No. 4 seed in the Division I regional tournament beginning May 9.
“We can do it if we play our best,” sophomore Victoria Mariscal said. “If we lose our first couple of games, then it’ll be tough.”
The Aztecs closed out the regular season on a four-game winning streak, ending May 3 with a sweep over Chandler-Gilbert Community College.
Pima won the first game 5-3.
The Aztecs took an early 2-1 lead. In the third inning, sophomore Valerie Luera hit a solo home run. In the sixth inning, sophomore Danielle Stensby drove in sophomore Mariah Rodriguez to pad the lead.
Sophomore Stephanie Vejar picked up the win, bringing her season record to 12-12.
Rodriguez finished the game 3 for 3 with two runs scored, while freshman Alexis Dotson was 2 for 4 with a run scored and a triple.
In the second game, the Aztecs scored six runs in the second inning to take a 9-1 victory in five innings.
Freshman Celina Martinez pitched five innings, giving up one run and improving her record to 8-11.
Sophomore Stacey Ramirez finished 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored while Luera finished 2 for 2 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Sophomores on the team were recognized after the game.
On April 29, Pima swept GateWay Community College.
They won the first game in six innings, 11-3.
Mariscal hit a solo home run in the third inning. The Aztecs followed with a five-run fifth inning.
Martinez picked up the win after pitching all six innings. She had three strikeouts.
Freshmen Dotson and Jackie Garcia both finished the game 3 for 5 with an RBI.
Pima won the second game 19-0. They scored 11 runs in an explosive third inning.
Vejar threw a five-inning shutout, allowing six hits and picking up one strikeout.
Dotson finished the game 4 for 4 with three runs scored and three RBIs. Stensby finished 3 for 3 with three RBIs.
On April 26, PCC split a doubleheader in Yuma against Arizona Western College.
The Aztecs won the first game 5-2. Pima held a slim lead most of the game, until Mariscal hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning to provide a little more cushioning.
Mariscal finished 2 for 3 with a home run and Stensby finished 3 for 4 with an RBI.
Martinez pitched four innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and picking up a strikeout.
Vejar came in for the save and retired all nine batters she faced.
Pima lost the second game in five innings, 17-4.
Mariscal gave the Aztecs an early 3-0 lead with a three-run home run in the first inning. AWC quickly answered in the bottom of the first inning, scoring seven runs.
AWC went on another scoring rampage in the fourth inning, tacking on seven more runs.
Stensby was named ACCAC conference Division I Player of the Week for April 21-27.
By BETO HOYOS
Pima Community College’s softball team took on Eastern Arizona College on April 22 and dropped the doubleheader.
The Aztecs dropped the first game 5-2 after Eastern took a 2-0 lead in the third inning.
In the fourth inning, Pima got on the board with a solo shot from sophomore Danielle Stensby.
Stensby finished the game 2 for 4 with an RBI and freshman Alexis Dotson was also 2 for 4 with a run scored.
The second game saw no rally for the Aztecs as they fell to Eastern 9-5.
In the fifth inning, the Aztecs found themselves down 4-0 before putting up three runs with the help of Dotson’s RBI single.
Freshman Taylor Fabing hit an RBI single in the sixth and sophomore Stacey Ramirez hit an RBI double in the seventh, but the rally ultimately fell short.
Dotson and Ramirez both finished 1 for 3 with an RBI.
On April 19, the Aztecs dropped a tough doubleheader on the road when they took on Central Arizona College.
In the first game, the Aztecs were shut out 8-0 in six innings.
“It seems like there’s always one piece missing,” sophomore Victoria Mariscal said. “Timely hitting is what we call it,” she added.
Freshman Celina Martinez pitched five and one third innings in relief. Martinez allowed three runs on seven hits and picked up one strikeout.
Mariscal and sophomore Stacey Ramirez both went 1 for 2.
The second game was also tough for the Aztecs, as they lost 10-2 in five innings.
Freshman Briana Urquidez took the loss and freshman Brianna Quiroz pitched one inning in relief and gave up six runs.
Central Arizona scored four runs in the first inning then five runs in the second inning. The Aztecs scored their two runs in the third inning.
Freshman Paige Castro hit an RBI single to score sophomore Valerie Luera.
The Aztecs took on Paradise Valley Community College on April 13 and split the doubleheader.
In the first game, the Aztecs were not all there defensively, committing three errors on the way to the 7-5 loss.
“If we wouldn’t have had that inning with all the errors we would’ve won,” Mariscal said.
Heading into the fifth inning, the Aztecs held a 2-0 lead.
“If our hitting is great our defense is off, and if our defense is on our hitting is off,” Mariscal said. “We just got to pull it all together and we’ll be unstoppable.”
The Aztecs came back focused in the second game to pick up a 9-1 win.
In the first inning, the Aztecs got down to business and quickly scored three runs.
“We have a great hitting team but we can never seem to all hit at the same time,” Mariscal said.
Fabing had a good game as she had an RBI double in the fifth inning and a two-run RBI single in the sixth.
Mariscal was 3 for 4 with three runs scored.
Sophomore Stephanie Vejar was named ACCAC Division I Pitcher of the Week April 9-14. She tallied 2 wins, 1 save and a strikeout in 9 innings of work,
By BETO HOYOS
Pima Community College’s softball team dropped a doubleheader against Phoenix College on April 8 at the West Campus.
The losses left the Aztecs’ season record at 21-22 overall, 16-16 in conference.
Pima lost the first game 7-4.
The Aztecs found themselves down 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning, but freshman Alexis Dotson hit a double and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
The Aztecs tied the game in the fourth inning with the help of sophomore Victoria Mariscal, who hit an RBI single that drove in sophomore Valerie Luera. Freshman Brianna Quiroz hit an RBI single that drove in Mariscal, and tied the game at 3-3.
Phoenix College regained the lead in the fifth inning and scored two runs in the seventh inning.
Dotson and Mariscal both finished the game 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored, while Luera went 2 for 4 with a run scored and a double.
The Aztecs lost the second game 10-1.
They once again fell behind early and found themselves down by four in the first inning. They gave up another four runs again in the seventh inning.
Quiroz finished 1 for 3 with a run scored while Mariscal went 2 for 2 with a walk and a double.
Freshman Celina Martinez took the loss after giving up four runs and nine hits in four innings.
On April 5, the team did some spring cleaning and swept South Mountain Community College.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Aztecs held off a late rally for a 6-4 win.
Dotson finished the game 2 for 3 with three stolen bases, three runs scored and a double.
Luera went 1 for 2 with three RBIs, while freshman Jackie Hernandez went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Aztecs won the second game 11-7.
They opened the scoring with five first-inning runs. Luera and freshman Alyssa Montoya each hit two-run RBI singles, followed by an RBI double from Quiroz.
The Aztecs held a 6-0 lead going into the third inning but South Mountain came back to tie the game by the sixth inning.
Pima had an explosive five-run seventh inning to seal the sweep. After Dotson led off with a triple, Hernandez came up big with a triple of her own, scoring Dotson.
Luera went 2 for 3 with three RBIs and a run scored while Dotson finished the game 3 for 5 with three runs scored, a stolen base and a triple.
Sophomore Stephanie Vejar picked up the win pitching relief.
On April 1, Pima split a doubleheader with Glendale Community College.
The Aztecs lost the first game 14-6 in six innings.
Vejar took the loss. She gave up four runs in one and two-thirds innings.
In the second game, the Aztecs used an explosive seven-run third inning and added four runs in the sixth inning to earn a 11-3 win.
Luera finished the game 2 for 4 with one RBI and two runs scored, while Mariscal went 2 for 4 with three RBIs and a run scored.
On March 29, the Aztecs swept Mesa Community College.
Pima won the first game 7-0.
Luera began the offensive outpour with a two-run home run in the first inning.
In the third inning, freshman Taylor Fabing hit an RBI double that put the Aztecs up 3-0.
In the sixth inning, the Aztecs scored three runs, including an RBI double by Mariscal.
Vejar picked up her eighth win.
Dotson finished 3 for 3 with three runs scored and a triple. Luera finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Fabing went 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored, while Mariscal finished 1 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored.
The Aztecs won the second game 11-0 in five innings.
Dotson was named ACCAC Player of the Week for the week of March 24-30.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
March 1: El Paso CC, West Campus, noon
March 4: Central Arizona College, West Campus, 1 p.m.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.