Lady Miners rack up 5 – 1 region record but fall to Hayden

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Nicole Encinas delivers the pitch for the Lady Miners. (Frank Smith photo)

By Frank Smith

The San Manuel Lady Miners have been busy on the field, racking up a 5 – 1 region record with a 10 – 7 overall record. In the last contest for the Lady Miners, San Manuel lost to region foe Hayden 11 – 1 to take their first region loss of the season.  

The Lady Miners started off their regular season with a game at St. Augustine’s on Feb. 26 in Tucson with San Manuel taking an 11 – 3 win. In the circle for the Miners was Nicole Encinas with Felicia Medina catching. Encinas faced 30 batters, allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, 3 strikeouts and 3 walks.

“It took us until the fourth inning to come around with the sticks,” Head coach Deanne Brewer said, “but once we started hitting, we were able to settle down and play our game. We had four errors, which is pretty good for this early in the season.”

The Lady Miners made the trip to Wickenburg to take part in the Wickenburg Wrangler Tournament on Mar. 1 and 2 with round-robin competition beginning on the first day of the tournament. In game one, San Manuel lost Blue Ridge 4 – 2 in six innings.

Stepping up to the plate was Mireya Tamayo 1/2 single; Nicole Encinas 1/3 single; Felicia Medina 2/3 single, double, RBI; and Angelica Zuniga 1/2 double, stolen base.

In the circle for the ladies was Lyana Waddell with Felicia Medina catching – Waddell faced 30 batters allowing 4 runs on 6 hits, 6 strike outs 3 walks.

In the second game of the tournament, the Lady Miners lost to Nogales 10 – 2 in 4 innings. Stepping up to the plate was Mireya Tamayo 1/2 single, RBI; and Mackenzie White 1/2 single.

San Manuel lost to Payson 10 – 4 in 5 innings in the third game of the tournament. In the circle for the ladies was Lyana Waddell with Mariah McBride catching. Waddell faced 29 batters allowing 10 runs on 7 hits, 2 strikeouts, 5 walks. Stepping up to the plate was Nicole Encinas 1/3 single; Macknzie 1/2 double, 2 RBIs; and Mariah 1/1 single.

  In the fourth game, the Lady Miners lost to Lake Havasue 5 – 2 in 5 innings. In the circle for the ladies was Nicole with Medina catching. Nicole faced 23 batters allowing 5 runs on 7 hits, 1 strikeout and 2 walks. At the plate was Nicole Encinas 1/3 single; Felicia Medina 2/3, RBI; and Mariah McBride 1/2 single.

  In the Consolation Bracket, in game one – San Manuel took on Independence picking up the win 4 – 2 in 6 innings. In the circle was Lyana/Felicia – Lyana faced 26 batters allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 4 strikeouts 4 walks. At the plate was Nicole Encinas – 1/3 single; Mackenzie White 1/3 triple, 2 RBIs; Mariah McBride 2/3 singles; Lyana Waddell 1/3 single; and Angelica Zuniga 1/3 double.

  In the second game of the consolation bracket, the Lady Miners beat Coolidge 11 – 1 in 4 innings. In the circle was Lyana Waddell/Felicia Medina. Waddell faced 18 batters allowing 1 run on 5 hits, 2 strikeouts 1 walk. At the plate was Nicole Encinas 1/4 single; Felicia Medina 2/3 single, double, 2 RBIs; Mariah McBride 2/4 singles, 2 RBIs; Angelica Zuniga 2/3 single, double 2 RBIs; and Ana Estrada 1/3 single.

In the third game, the Miners was scheduled to face Blue Ridge but the game was called a forfeit.

In the fourth game, San Manuel beat Mohave 9 – 5 in 4 innings. In the circle was Lyana Waddell/Felicia Medina. Waddell faced 20 batters allowing 5 runs on 4 hits 2 strikeouts, 2 walks. At the plate was Felicia Medina – 1/3 single; Mariah McBride 1/3 double; Lyana Waddell 1/2 single, RBI; and Angelica Zuniga 3/3 singles, 4 RBIs.

The Lady Miners were undefeated in the consolation bracket and brought home some hardware.

San Manuel then got back to the regular season competition hosting Ray on March 7, picking up the win 5 – 4 in 6 1/2 innings.

In the circle was Lyana Waddell with Felicia catching. Waddell faced 31 batters allowing 4 runs on 6 hits, 7 strikeouts and 4 walks.

At the plate was Mireya Tamayo 1/2 single, RBI; Nicole Encinas 1/3 single; Mackenzie White 2/3 single, double, RBI; Felicia Medina 2/4 single, double, RBI; Lyana Waddell 1/3 double; and Angelica Zuniga 2/3 singles, stolen base.

“Our pitchers are young and have a tendency to throw fat pitches when they are ahead in the count,” Coach Brewer said. “They are working hard and that’s our goal for them: less walks and giving up less hits.”

The Lady Miners hosted a very tough Empire squad on Mar. 8 taking the loss 13 – 2. In the circle was Lyana with Felicia catching. Lyana faced 35 batters allowing 13 runs on 12 hits 4 strike outs 5 walks.

At the plate, Mireya Tamayo 1/3 single; Nicole Encinas 1/2 single; and Felicia Medina 1/2 double, 2 RBIs.  

  “Empire is a strong hitting team,” Brewer said. “In order for a pitcher to maintain composure like she did after the first devastating inning is impressive. She just has to stay focused.”

Offensively, the team had three hits and Brewer said they were struggling at the plate. “It’s been frustrating because the girls are young and not confident in themselves,” Brewer said. “I know they can hit because they do it every day at practice, but in games we are too uptight. It’s a learning process. We just need to speed the process up.”

  On Mar. 12, the Lady Miners headed up to Hayden and grabbed a close 8 – 7 win over the Lady Lobos.

In the circle was Lyana Waddell with Felicia Medina catching – Waddell faced 36 batters allowing 7 runs on 10 hits, 5 strikeouts, 4 walks.

At the plate, Mireya Tamayo 1/4 single; Mackenzie White 1/4 double 2 RBIs; Felicia Medina 1/3 single, stolen base; Mariah McBride 2/3 singles, 3 RBIs; Angelica Zuniga 2/4 double, triple; Ana Estrada 1/4 single, RBI; and Ashley Vargas 1/4 single.

  “Defensively, we had three errors on paper, but numerous mental errors,” Brewer said. “Our outfield is not being aggressive on the short pop-ups so we allow a lot of them to drop in. We didn’t cover bases and gave up extra bases, putting Lobo runners in scoring position. We don’t want that to happen…with any team, but especially with an aggressive hitting team like Hayden.” 

“The good thing is that we were able to get ahead in the first inning, giving us confidence,” Brewer added. “It was a battle, but we ended up on top.”

San Manuel traveled up to Globe to take on the Lady Tigers on Mar. 13 with the Lady Miners returning with a 17 – 3 win.

In the circle was Lyana Waddell with Mariah McBride catching. Waddell faced 21 batters in 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 2 hits 7 strikeouts and 1 walk.

At the plate, Tamayo 2/4 singles; Encinas 1/3 single; White 2/4 singles, stolen base, RBI; Medina 3/3 single, double, homerun, 2 RBIs; Waddell 3/4 HOMERUNS (all 3 hits) 8 RBIs; Zuniga 2/4 single, double, stolen base; and Estrada 2/4 single, double, RBI.

“We finally hit the ball like I know we can,” Brewer said. “Lyana had a field day. I hope this gets our confidence where it should be in the area of hitting.”

  The Lady Miners hosted St. Augustine on Mar. 18 and picked up a shut out win 10 – 0 in five innings.

In the circle was Encinas with McBride catching. Encinas faced 21 batters in 5 innings allowing 6 hits, 1 strikeout, 1 walk.

At the plate, Tamayo 2/4 singles, RBI; Encinas 2/3 singles, RBI; White 1/2 single; Medina 2/3 singles, 2 RBIs; Gomez 2/2 singles, RBI; Waddell 2/3 single, double 2 RBIs; McBride 1/3 single, RBI; Zuniga 1/2 single; and Victoria Ortega 1/1 single.

Brewer said it was Nicole’s first shutout. “We still want our pitchers to eliminate walks and limit the number of hits we are giving up,” Brewer said. “Every runner that gets on base has the potential to score. It’s a lot of pressure on our pitchers, but I know they can do it. I would also like to see my whole team get hits in every game we play.”

San Manuel paid a visit to Tucson on Mar. 19 to face off against St. Gregory and picked up another shut out win 20 – 0 over the Lady Hawks.

In the circle was Encinas with White catching. Encinas faced 18 batters in 5 innings, allowed 2 hits, 2 strikeouts, 2 walks.

At the plate, Tamayo 2/5 singles, 3 RBIs; Encinas 2/4 singles, 2 RBIs; Medina 2/3 singles, RBI; Felicia Gomez 1/2 single, RBI, sac; Waddell 1/3 single, 2 RBIs; McBride 1/3 single, RBI; Zuniga 1/4 single, 2 stolen bases, 3 RBIs; and Jeweliette Porras 1/1 single.

On Mar. 20, the Lady Miners headed over to Vail to take on Empire and returned home with a 17 – 0 loss.

In the circle was Waddell with Medina catching. Waddell faced 35 batters in 4 innings, allowing 16 hits, 0 strikeouts, 4 walks.

At the plate, Encinas 1/2 single; Medina 1/2 single; and Zuniga 1/2 single.

Coach Brewer said Empire is an aggressively hitting team. “If we give up hits, we would ideally like them to be singles,” Brewer said. “Unfortunately, they got a lot of extra base hits, including three homeruns.  We allowed to many pop ups to be dropped and just had too many mental errors defensively because we weren’t being aggressive.”

The team struggled at the plate, coming away with three singles. “We did not execute the short game and really just struggled to hit,” Brewer said. “It is a good experience for us to play teams like Empire, because we will see these tougher pitching/hitting teams later in the season. We just have to step up our confidence and aggressive play.”

The Lady Miners hosted Hayden on Mar. 22 and lost their first region game of the season 11 – 1.

In the circle was Waddell with Medina catching. Waddell faced 35 batters allowing 11 runs on 8 hits, 9 strikeouts 4 walks and 5 defensive errors.

At the plate, Tamayo 1/4 single; Encinas 1/2 single, sac; White 1/3 single; Medina 3/3 singles, double, RBI; Gomez 1/2 single; and Zuniga 2/3 singles.

“We gave this game away,” Brewer said. “Lyana worked hard to keep Hayden’s hitters off the ball, but defensively, we just weren’t ready. We had more hits than Hayden, but just couldn’t get the base runners across the plate. Back to the drawing board.” 

The Lady Miners went down to Willcox on Monday and will take part in the Hayden Invitational Tournament this Friday and Saturday.

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