West Valley View, Avondale, Arizona, Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Game (From Page 12)
in a situation down the stretch where we’re going to have to beat a really good team at the end of the season for that to happen to us. We’re going to have to go to [Estrella] Foothills or have Verrado come up to us and get a win. If you had to give one away you’d like it to be to one of them. But hey, this team [Kellis] beat Sunrise Mountain the other night, so they’re no joke.” Kellis (11-8-2) certainly wasn’t joking in the bottom of the first inning when it pounced for three runs off Desert Edge (23-5) starter Nancy Figueroa. Jessica Jantz led off with a single, Deeanna Maguire walked and Diana Hartman followed with a single, plating the game’s first run. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch, and Taylor Uden singled to center, knocking in two more and making it 3-0. “I knew they could hit,” Figueroa said. “I was trying to put it outside but they could hit it. We were just working curveball, fastball. They were definitely hitting the fastball.”
Cyra Wentz because Shorts wanted to give Figueroa some work in a meaningful game before the playoffs, he said. “Just get everybody primed and ready to go for the playoffs,” Shorts said. “It just wasn’t there. They were on her a little bit, they really had her timed pretty good. I figured they would prepare for Cyra, a little bit more movement, but they were clearly on her, so we wanted to make the move fairly early.” Wentz wound up coming into the game after the first inning, and allowed just one run on three hits over the next five innings, striking out five. However, Desert Edge found itself down 4-0 after three innings, and Shorts was not pleased with his team offensively. “We just weren’t making adjustments,” Shorts said. “Four of the first six hitters popped up. I wanted us to make an adjustment with how we were swinging the bat. Obviously we were a little weak with the top hand and I wanted to make an adjustment and be strong with the top hand.”
On the scoreboard Desert Edge finally struck in the fourth, as Ari Samaniego laced a triple to right
Figueroa got the start instead of ace
field to open the frame. Figueroa followed with a hard single to center to get the Lady Scorpions on the board at 4-1. In the fifth inning, Desert Edge got two more as Figueroa delivered again, this time with the bases loaded. Eva Aceves was hit by a pitch and Kaitlin Raney singled on a slow chopper, putting two runners on. Two batters later Samaniego walked, and with two strikes on Figueroa she pounded one through the middle that scored two runs and made it 4-3. “I heard Shorts say, ‘Give me these two,’ and I was like, ‘I got you,’” Figueroa said. “I knocked them in. I was pretty excited.” Nikki Trujillo followed with a hard line
drive, but it was right at center fielder Samatha Amaya, who put it away for the final out. “I have great faith in our offense,” Shorts said. “I always expect them to hit the ball, and once we get going I expect good things to happen. Their pitcher [Jessica Rojo] has played with us in summer ball. We thought we would get to her late, she would get tired and we would get to her. We started hitting the ball and I thought here it comes, but we just couldn’t finish it today.” Rojo finished allowing just five hits and three earned runs, walking one and striking out three.
ball. Twice the Lady Scorpions popped up a sacrifice bunt attempt for an out. “It kills you,” Shorts said. “Anytime you
Desert Edge also struggled with small
don’t execute, that really hurts. We’re a team that has to rely on our execution, we have to do the right things to score runs. We don’t get that when we make mistakes. That hurts a lot.” Desert Edge didn’t get another base runner after the fifth inning, and went down 1-2-3 on three pitches in the seventh inning. All three outs were ground balls. “We talked about that, you can’t do
that,” Shorts said. “You’ve got to wait for better pitches. Now, if they’re the pitches they want and they got the swings they wanted, we tell them to go ahead and take it. The result of the hit tells you that’s probably not the pitch they wanted.” Desert Edge has four games remaining,
beginning with a contest at 3:45 p.m. today at Peoria Liberty. “We could have won this game,” Figueroa said. “When I talked to them after I told them hopefully we can learn from it to come out motivated and win the next four games.”
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CYRA WENTZ pitches for Desert Edge Thursday at Raymond S. Kellis. Wentz relieved starter Nancy Figueroa after the first inning in the Lady Scorpions 4-3 road loss.
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