West Valley View, Avondale, Arizona, Friday, April 27, 2012
Lady Knights give battle to Centennial
by Mike Russo sports editor
Westview (16-13) had nothing to gain with a victory in its season-ending game Tuesday at Centennial (25-5), except the satisfaction of knocking the Lady Coyotes out of the top eight in the power rankings, and depriving them of a first-round bye in the Division I state tournament, starting Saturday.
The Lady Knights remained within striking distance throughout the contest, never falling more than five runs behind but came up short in their quest for victory, 8-4. “I would like to see them play a good, solid game against a good, solid team,” coach Damon Watson said before the game. His request was fulfilled. Westview put pressure on Centennial from the outset on singles by Kylie Andrus and Chelsie Goddard, sandwiched around an error on a ball hit by Sianna Gomez, loading the bases with one out. Unfortunately, all three runners were left stranded when Analicia Vega took a called third strike and Jasmine Buirse popped out to first baseman Abby Beasley, ending the threat. Centennial made Westview immediately pay for not taking advantage of the scoring opportunity by pushing across a pair of runs in the home half of the first. Leadoff batter Destinee Luna was hit by a pitch and Skylar McCarty delivered the run with a one-out triple. McCarty crossed the plate on Beasley’s single up the middle.
The Lady Coyotes made it 5-0 in the third. Makaylah Miller got the scoring started with a leadoff home run over the left-field fence. With two outs, Jazzmin Garcia singled and scored on Samantha Munoz’s triple. Munoz tallied the third run of the inning on Paige Mills’ infield single.
Launching a comeback Westview crept to within 5-2 with a pair of runs in the fourth. Vega smacked a leadoff single to center to start the rally. Centennial mishandled Buirse’s sacrifice attempt and both runners were safe. Danielle Davis’ single scored Vega. Cierra Esquivel reached on an error, loading the bases. Andrus’ single up the middle plated the second run and the bases remained loaded. However, Gomez was retired on a fielder’s choice, leaving the bases loaded for the second time. Centennial made it 7-2 in the fifth on consecutive doubles by Beasley and Garcia and a single by Munoz to open the frame. Westview drew to within 7-4 in the sixth. Lindsay Simmons led off the inning with a single off the left-field fence. Pinch-runner Lauren Guerra advanced to second and third on wild pitches and scored on Annalisha Cordova’s infield single. Andrus and Gomez followed with singles but only one run scored and the Lady Knights left two more runners stranded in the inning. They finished the game with nine runners left on base. “We had our opportunities,” Watson said. “That’s been the theme for the year. With good teams, we had opportunities to break a game open but didn’t take
View file photo by Ray Thomas
WESTVIEW SOPHOMORE Mikaela Reed pitches against Millennium April 19. Reed pitched well but absorbed the loss as the Lady Knights lost 8-4 Tuesday in the season finale at Centennial.
advantage of them. It wasn’t something we hadn’t seen before. “We have not had a problem getting runners on base. We hit pretty well. Getting them home is the crazy thing.” Centennial added an insurance run in the sixth on two singles, a hit batter and a bases-loaded walk to Mills.
Mills, a sophomore, went the distance for the Lady Coyotes to earn the victory, elevating her record to 21-4. She yielded four earned runs on 13 hits, striking out three and walking one.
defensive plays by her teammates on some hard-hit line drives. “We have been hitting in bad luck
lately,” Watson said. “Our 3, 4 and 5 hitters have been hitting the ball right at people.”
Sophomore Mikaela Reed took the pitching loss and her record fell to 11-10. She surrendered eight runs, seven earned, on 10 hits, while striking out three, walking two and hitting two batters. “Mikaela fought the whole game,”
She was aided by some sterling
Watson said. “Her defense didn’t help her early on, but she pitched her heart out.” Andrus led the Lady Knights’ 12-hit attack with three singles. Gomez and Esquivel each added two hits. Despite never leading in the game,
Westview refused to surrender to the eighth-ranked Lady Coyotes. “They’ll always fight,” Watson said. “They don’t give up.”
Mike Russo can be reached by email at email@example.com
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