4 Corners of Sports

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QUEEN CREEK

Softball – The Lady Bulldogs went 2 – 1 last week and won four of their last five games played through Apr. 1. After a 7 – 3 loss to second-ranked Desert Vista last Tuesday, the No. 16-ranked Lady Bulldogs defeated No. 17 Horizon and bottom-ranked Mountain Pointe to end the week. Jaylei Brechler, a freshman, went 3-for-3 and drove in three runs in the 11 – 1 home victory against Horizon last Wednesday. Mariah Gallegos and Taryn Simmons also had three hits apiece to go along with one and two RBI, respectively. Queen Creek pounded out five extra-base hits in the game, including doubles by Gallegos, Simmons, Brittany Benavidez, and Julia Heitz. Ryann Holmes ripped a triple for her only hit in the game. Heitz, a sophomore, allowed a run on six hits scattered over seven innings pitched to earn her fifth win of the season. She did not walk a Huskies’ batter and struck out one.

Upcoming schedule:  Apr. 8 at Desert Ridge, Apr. 13 at Hamilton, Apr. 14 at Mesa (6:30 p.m.), and Apr. 15 vs. Chandler (3:45 p.m.). All games are scheduled for 4 p.m. unless otherwise indicated.

COMBS

Baseball – The No. 18-ranked Coyotes split a pair of games last week, falling at Casa Grande (3 – 0) last Tuesday before defeating Youngker at home last Thursday, 6 – 5. The Yotes nearly squandered a six-run lead against the Roughriders, giving up five runs in the top of the fifth but hung on for their 10th win of the season. Eight different Coyotes had at least one hit in the game, including Dalton Lupton who finished with two hits. Jarret Rodriguez and Colt Chance each drove in two runs while Lupton and Austin Summers, a sophomore, each had one RBI. Starting pitcher Jerek Bernhardt pitched four innings of one-hit shutout baseball to earn the win. He did not walk a batter and struck out four in the outing. Tyler Stading pitched two scoreless innings in relief to pick up the save.

Upcoming schedule:  The following games are part of the Wolves Classic with all games being played at Goodyear Ballpark:  Apr. 7 vs. Cathedral Prep (3 p.m.), Apr. 8 vs. Snowflake (12 p.m.), Apr. 8 vs. Browne, and Apr. 9 vs. TBA. Other games:  Apr. 12 vs. Camelback (3:45 p.m.), Apr. 13 at Desert View (4 p.m.), and Apr. 15 at Poston Butte (6 p.m.).

POSTON BUTTE

Baseball – The Broncos won both games played last week, winning at Fountain Hills 9 – 5 before a come-from-behind walk-off 3 – 2 victory at home against Scottsdale Christian Academy last Thursday. Dylan Vanderlip’s extra-base hit scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to give the Broncos their seventh win of the season. The Broncos were limited to only four hits versus the Eagles, two of them by Aaron Kern, who also drove in a run. Starting pitcher Josh Touhey, a sophomore, was named Player of the Game after surrendering only two runs – one earned – on three hits in the complete-game outing. He walked one and fanned six Eagles’ hitters in his third win of the season.

Upcoming schedule:  The following games are part of the Wolves Classic with all games being played at Goodyear Ballpark:  Apr. 7 vs. Payson and Apr. 8 vs. Buckeye. All games are scheduled for 6 p.m. Other games:  Apr. 12 at Tempe (4 p.m.) and Apr. 15 vs. Combs (6 p.m.).

Softball – The third-ranked Lady Broncos continued to dominate their opponents last week, picking up two more lopsided victories against  Gila Ridge (11 – 2) and Veritas Prep (19 – 2). The win against Veritas Prep was perhaps the most impressive considering the Falcons have arguably the best pitcher and top college prospect in the state, Lainey Stephenson. The Lady Broncos pounded out 10 hits and scored 19 runs – 12 earned against Stephenson, who also walked eight Poston Butte hitters. Junior shortstop Megan Clark had three hits, including a triple and a homerun, and drove in seven runs to lead the Lady Broncos’ offense that scored in five of the game’s six innings. Amanda Pachello, a freshman, also had three hits to go along with two RBI and sophomore Ronni Sample had two hits and an RBI in the win. Starting pitcher Taylor Strupp, a sophomore, earned Player of the Game honors after throwing a no-hitter despite the Falcons scoring two unearned runs. She walked four Veritas’ hitters and fanned 11. The victory was Strupp’s seventh of the season.

Upcoming schedule:  Apr. 12 vs. Tempe (7 p.m.), Apr. 14 at Higley, (6 p.m.), Apr. 18 at South Mountain (4 p.m.), and Apr. 20 at Youngker (7 p.m.).

SAN TAN FOOTHILLS

Baseball – The Sabercats picked up their second win of the year last Tuesday, defeating Salome by the lopsided score of 19 – 4. Starting pitcher Bryant Lopez, a freshman, was named Player of the Game after tossing a complete game, allowing three earned runs on three hits in five innings pitched. He walked four and struck out five Frogs’ hitters. Felix Tarazon, a junior, led the Cats’ offensively, going 2-for-4 with four RBI. Estevan O’Dell and Tate Conant each hit a triple and drove in three and two runs, respectively. Norman Touey, a junior, had a pair of hits and two RBI in the Cats’ best offensive performance to date.

Upcoming schedule:  Apr. 12 at Tonopah Valley, Apr. 14 vs. Odyssey Institute, and Apr. 19 vs. Valley Lutheran (6 p.m.). All games are scheduled for 4 p.m. unless otherwise indicated.

Andy Luberda (1120 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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