The race to the final four began this week as the Lady Trojans softball team split two tough games. They beat Spring Valley at home 3-2 on Tuesday and then traveled to Sierra Vista the following day and lost a tough one, 13-3.
Sierra Vista (9-1 overall, 4-0 Sunset League) was coming off an impressive win over Faith Lutheran (14-3, 2-1), 10-3, which leads to the logical question, are the Mountain Lions the team to beat in the conference?
“I am going to put my money on Faith Lutheran still,” Trojans coach Eli Armendariz said. “Faith Lutheran didn’t use their top pitcher against them and then there is Spring Valley, who didn’t use their top pitcher against us until it was too late. This seems to be the trend with teams. Sierra Vista put in their number two pitcher and then used their number one as a closer. I don’t subscribe to that way of thinking and I always put my best in first.”
Armendariz said his team had a “stellar” defensive game against Spring Valley (5-3, 2-1) and that’s why they beat them.
“We were catching balls all over the field,” he said. “We only had two errors and Amaya (Mendoza) pitched a great game.”
The coach gave three reasons why his team lost to Sierra Vista on Wednesday.
“We went up against great hitting and pitching and our defense was lousy,” he said. “We dropped balls that should have been caught.”
The Trojans also had to deal with the loss of Jordan Egan, who apparently threw out her shoulder on Wednesday against Sierra Vista, while she was playing catcher.
“We are a great team defensively and yes this hurts us, especially offensively, but we have the best defense we have had in two seasons,” the coach said. “I think if we get her bat back as a DH, (designated hitter) we should be fine. Our team is young and strong.”
During the Spring Valley game the Trojans (8-3, 3-1) had 7 hits for 3 runs and scored 2 runs in the first and 1 in the third and just hung on for the win. Mendoza helped herself out with a double, Leanne Kaiwi had 2 hits and Lauren Koenig had 2 hits.
In the Sierra Vista game, The Trojans got 5 hits and 3 runs. Mendoza pitched 3 innings and Darian Collin pitched 1.2 innings.
The girls host Cheyenne (2-2, 1-2) on Tuesday and then Mojave (2-2, 1-2). “I think if we can sweep Cheyenne and Mojave next week, then we will be in the driver’s seat to finish in the top four,” Armendariz said.
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