Lady ‘Cats advance to semis of State Playoffs

Copper Basin News

The Ray softball team advanced to the semi-finals of the Division IV State Championship by winning both games it played last weekend. The Lady ‘Cats won a 1 – 0 pitcher’s duel versus 13-th seeded Phoenix Country Day last Friday before defeating 5th-seeded Superior on Saturday, 7 – 3.

“They performed well, especially in the first game,” Bearcats head coach Rikki Galka answered when asked about her team’s performance last weekend. “It took a total team effort to beat Phoenix Country Day.”

In Friday’s game, the Bearcats scored a run in the first and pitcher Stormee Galka made it hold up, limiting the Eagles to four hits in the complete game shutout.

Saturday’s game versus Superior was the fourth game of the season between the schools. The Bearcats won for the third time and eliminated the Panthers from postseason play in the process. Again, Stormee Galka was the winning pitcher, limiting a potent Panthers’ offense to only three runs.

Next up for the Lady ‘Cats is 9th-seeded Valley Christian, which defeated top-seeded Arizona Lutheran on Saturday to advance to the semis. The Trojans have won three straight games in the tournament so far, defeating Joseph City, Valley Union, and Arizona Lutheran.

The semi-final game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday night at the Rose Mofford Softball Complex – Field #2 – in Phoenix.

“I don’t know much about Valley Christian,” Galka said. “But it’s going to take another total team effort and we have to stay focused to win.”

With a win, the Bearcats would face the winner between San Manuel and Veritas Prep in the Championship Game on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

Andy Luberda (145 Posts)

Andy Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for eight high schools. His stories are published in the Southeast Valley Ledger, Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College. Andy is currently earning a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from ASU’s Hugh Downs School of Communication. Andy is scheduled to complete his degree December 2014. He was born and raised in Des Plaines, Ill. In 1992, he relocated to Arizona. After a short return to Des Plaines in 1997, he returned to the Phoenix area two years later. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.

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