Jr. Panthers Season Ends With First-Round Loss

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By Andrew Luberda

Superior, AZ – The Jr. Panthers softball team lost their first-round playoff game to Miami, 7 – 6. The Panthers lead 6 – 2 entering the sixth inning but Miami was able to take advantage of some key errors and scored five runs en route to the victory.

Coach Lopez said the offense started well, especially in the first two innings. Unfortunately, the Jr. Panthers were unable to sustain it throughout the game. “We left runners in scoring position too many times and it cost us.”

Coach Lopez said Julianna Ortega, an eighth grader, played well in the game. Five other eighth-graders played in their final game for the Jr. Panthers. Elizabeth Ochoa, Eleanna Ybarra, Kassandra Baltierra, Macey Hernandez and Marie Moreno will look forward to playing for a different Coach Lopez in Sr. High School, Coach Cheryl Lopez.

“We improved during the season,” Coach Joseph Lopez said when asked to assess the team’s performance. “We may have been a little over confident entering the playoffs.”

He went on to say the Jr. Panthers are a young team and he expects them to learn from the experiences during the season and come back next year even hungrier.

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