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13 West Valley View, Avondale, Arizona, Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Semifinals (From Page 12)

The Lady Bulldogs went on to lose the state championship to Phoenix Bourgade Catholic, 7-1, on Saturday. Winslow led only 1-0 after two innings against Estrella,

but scored three in the third, six in the fourth and then tacked on another in the fifth. Up and down the lineup, the Lady Bulldogs put the bat on the ball, and Jamie Bollin was the leader, going 4 for 4 with 5 RBI. “The top of our lineup, they start it, the middle came through for us and it continued at the bottom,” Barris said. “I have 10 kids that can hit home runs and have home run power. It’s just getting them firing on the same day and we knew that was vital.” Estrella ace Kasia Smith did not have her best stuff,

allowing 11 runs, 10 earned, on 14 hits and two walks. She struck out six. “She was kind of missing spots, but they were teeing

off,” Brungardt said. “They were aggressive and hitting stuff pretty routinely. It seems like we’d get two strikes on somebody and they’d tag one. It was their night.” Smith also struggled with her control, hitting a pair of batters in the first three innings. That threw her off her game, she said. “I was uncomfortable throwing inside because I’ve been letting it fly into batters lately, and when I hit the first batter in the first inning they all stepped in on the plate taking away my outside pitch,” Smith said. “When I threw back inside I would hit them more. I was afraid to hit them and they capitalized on my mistakes.” Smith was also hurt by falling behind in the count. She

threw first-pitch strikes to just 19 of the 33 hitters she faced. “It’s hard to work from behind,” Smith said. “It just

wasn’t working tonight. I even felt a bit off in warm-ups but I thought it would go away and it just didn’t.” While Winslow was pounding the ball, Estrella had

View photo by Ray Thomas

ESTRELLA FOOTHILLS’ ALEX FEDO is thrown out at first base in a close play in Friday night’s Division III state semifinal game against Winslow. The Lady Wolves were unable to make it back to the title game for the third year in a row, losing 11-0 to Winslow.

difficulty hitting. The Lady Wolves mustered just one single off Winslow starter Kelly Pugh, which came with one out in the fifth inning. Taylor Godfrey had the hit, but it didn’t matter. Sarah Trammell struck out and Allison Montano grounded out, ending the game. “We’re a better hitting team than that, we have been all season long,” Brungardt said. “Part of it is the hype of the big game, we’ve got this big target on our back and Winslow knows that. They have a lot more motivation for wanting to beat us.” Pugh went all five innings, allowing just the one hit

and two walks, while striking out four. She focused on keeping the ball away from the Lady Wolves’ hitters. “I was throwing them a lot of outside, that way there

wasn’t much power,” Pugh said. “It was more of a curve drop that seemed to work out.” Having not lost a game all year, Estrella had not been shut out and was averaging 9.7 runs per game. The Lady Wolves could not answer Pugh’s outside command though. “That’s been the theme all year,” Brungardt said. “It seems everybody who knows us wants to take our power hitting away, so they do, they put everything on the outer half of the plate or just off the plate and we’re reaching and either rolling over and hitting ground balls, or occasionally hit a pop fly somewhere, but you can’t get a lot of bat on the ball.”

Early base runners

but couldn’t capitalize. Alex Fedo reached on a first- inning error, getting all the way to third on the overthrow with one out. However, Tatum Reedy grounded out and Smith flew out, ending the threat. In the second, Dustie Durham drew a one-out walk, but on a sacrifice bunt she tried to take third and was thrown out. The Lady Wolves hit into another double play in the third, as with one out Montano walked but was caught too far off the bag on Ashley Godfrey’s lineout to second and was doubled off. “We made a couple base-running mistakes that didn’t

help, but I felt like we would come back with our bats, we’d be all right,” Brungardt said. “But they just exploded.”

When the hitting started for Winslow, it didn’t stop. Consecutive hits from Jaleisa Hayes, Taylor Baca and

Estrella had a couple of chances in the early innings,

Bollin plated the three runs in the fourth, making it 4-0. Estrella couldn’t stop the bleeding in the fourth either, as Pugh doubled, Renee Bollin tripled and Halle Hayes tripled to lead off what would be a six-run frame. “We wanted it,” Barris said. “We didn’t overlook

anybody all year but we prepared for Estrella Foothills from Day 1. Kasia is on our wall, Tatum, they’re two outstanding kids on that team and we prepared. We prepared our pitchers for their hitters since Day 1.” Pugh didn’t face Estrella last year, as Halle Hayes was

given the ball in the championship game. Circumstances were different this time though.

“[Hayes] has back spasms and had the flu this morning so we put her in left and we knew Kelly could do it,” Barris said. “She’s a senior, she wanted it and she’s confident.”

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Despite the loss, Estrella has a lot to be proud of from the season. The Lady Wolves won 33 games and hadn’t lost in 55 straight dating back to last year. Additionally, the seniors went undefeated on their home field all four years. “It’s been a tremendous year,” Brungardt said. “We’ve had some great games, played some stiff competition, played some not-so-stiff competition, but to run our record to 33-0 like we did says a lot about the character of the team. I think the more that happened, last weekend we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, got to the 33 mark and now can we get to 35, and you’re facing a team like Winslow. It got to be like a pressure cooker and eventually the lid blew off.” “We did really good this year,” Smith added. “We had a really good run. It’s unfortunate in how it ended, I wish we could have at least gotten to the next game, but there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Casey Pritchard can be reached by email at

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