4 Corner of Sports for week of Mar. 21 – 27

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Baseball – The Broncos dropped three-straight games during the week, including a heartbreaking 13 – 12 extra-inning loss against Walden Grove on Mar. 26. After squandering a two-run lead in the top of the seventh, the Broncos came back in the bottom half, scoring three runs to send the game to extras before the Red Wolves won it in the eighth. Cameron Vercoe had two hits and drove in three runs to lead the Broncos’ offense. The freshman was one of four Broncos’ hitters to have at least two hits and one of four others to have at least two RBI. Aaron Kern had four hits, including one of six doubles hit by his team, while Nolan McNeill and Dylan Vanderlip each had two hits. Keaton Badger, Keegan Vercoe, and Joshua Touhey each had two RBI in the game.

Softball – The Lady Broncos extended their winning streak to eight games with three victories during the week, all of them similar to their previous five wins – lopsided. Two of the three wins were shutouts as they outscored Saguaro, North, and American Leadership Academy combined, 55 – 1. Junior shortstop Megan Clark and freshman Lindsay Lopez each hit homeruns and combined for nine RBI in a 17 – 1 romp at Saguaro on Mar. 22. Clark also tripled while Lopez finished with three hits in the game. Sophomore Ronni Sample also had a big game offensively, going 3-for-4 with four RBI. In addition to Clark, Lopez and Sample, Skyler Jenkins and freshman Kayla Faust each recorded multi-hit games in the win. Lopez earned her sixth win of the year against only one loss, pitching six innings and allowing only an unearned run on three hits with three walks and 15 strikeouts.

COMBS

Baseball – After dealing rival Florence its first loss of the season, followed by winning the 100th game in their school’s history – all of them under current head coach John Scrogham –  at Miami on Mar. 19, the Coyotes dropped consecutive games at Tempe and at home versus Higley during the week. The Yotes surrendered a season-high 12 runs to Higley in a 12 – 8 loss on Mar. 24. The Knights were able to take advantage of an uncharacteristic performance by the Yotes’ pitching staff, pounding out 15 hits to plate their 12 runs. Josh McDevitt, Dax Kelley, and Austin Courter each had two hits for the Coyotes, who couldn’t make the Knights pay for committing five errors in the game. McDevitt drove in two runs to lead the Yotes.

Softball – The Lady Coyotes defeated San Tan Foothills 11 – 1 in their lone game of the week. Freshman Absidee Sanchez had three hits, including two of her team’s three triples in the game, and two RBI to lead the Lady Yotes’ offense. Madison Simmons and Jordan Bulloch each had two hits in the game, including one double each. Karlie Foster and Izzy Careaga each had two RBI in the win. Careaga, a junior, was the winning pitcher after allowing only an unearned run on four hits without walking a Sabercats’ hitter and fanning three.

QUEEN CREEK

Baseball – The Bulldogs’ losing streak extended to seven games after losses against Mountain Pointe and Highland during the week. Starting pitcher Jesse Schmidt again pitched well enough to win but suffered from a lack of run support in the 4 – 1 loss to Mountain Pointe on Mar. 21. The Phoenix College commit allowed four runs – two earned – in the game, one run in each of the first, third, fourth, and fifth innings. Schmidt did not walk a batter and struck out nine. The Bulldogs’ were shutout for six innings – despite four errors by the Pride – before scoring a run in the bottom of the seventh, but it was simply too little, too late. Austin Nichols, the Bulldogs’ leading hitter and a University of Arizona commit, had two hits to lead the Bulldogs. Schmidt, Colton Cassinelli, Zach Glaess, and Kole Kaler each had one of the team’s six hits in the game. Cassinelli, who is hitting .421 and leads the Bulldogs with 10 RBI, had the only extra-base hit – a triple.

Softball – The Lady Bulldogs won at Highland on Mar. 23, 13 – 2. Julia Heitz got it done on the mound and at the plate to lead her team to its ninth win of the season. The sophomore went 2-for-2, including a pair of doubles, with four RBI. On the mound, the Lady Bulldogs’ right-handed ace pitched a complete game, allowing two runs – one earned – on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Phoenix College commit Ryann Holmes, who is hitting .432, hit her third homerun of the season and drove in three runs. Jaylei Brechler, Kaylee Joyce, Maci Richardson, and Taryn Simmons each had a hit in the win.

SAN TAN FOOTHILS

Baseball – The Sabercats suffered an 8 – 4 home loss on Mar. 22 against Arizona Charter Academy, which won its first game of the year. A seven-run second inning paced the Bulldogs, who overcame an early three-run deficit and did not look back. The Sabercats were limited to two hits in the game – one each by Norman Touey and AJ Juarez. Touey, a junior, dominated ACA hitters after relieving starter Estevan O’Dell, going five innings and allowing an earned run on one hit without walking a batter and fanning 13. O’Dell and Touey combined to whiff 18 Bulldogs’ batters in the game.

Andy Luberda (1135 Posts)

Andrew Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working 15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for 11 high schools. His stories are published in Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun, in addition to the San Tan Valley Daily PRSS and CopperArea websites. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College before graduating with a BS in Communication from Arizona State University in 2014. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


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