Lady Miners win second straight championship

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Nicole Encinas, Mireya Tamayo, Angela Navarro, Kadi Monfred, Mariah McBride, Ashley Vargas, Vivica Huerta, Felicia Gomez, Alyssa Cuellar, Lyana Waddell, Angelica Zuniga, Dionne Ruiz, Felicia Medina, Brittany Allison; Manager,  Sammie Sampson; Coaches Deanne Brewer, Brian Brewer, Angela Sierra, Bethany Smith are #1, for the second straight year in a row. Ray Barney | SMHS

San Manuel Miner

The Lady Miners scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh in the State Championship to force extra innings versus Valley Christian last Saturday night. In the bottom of the eighth, with the score tied, 4 – 4, Kadi Monfred scored the winning run on a base hit by Alyssa Cuellar to give the Miners back-to-back state titles. It was the Miners 9th Softball State Championship overall.

The Miners won 23 of their last 24 games on their way to the championship. Their lone loss during that span came against Ray, which lost to Valley Christian in the semi-finals. They dominated their opponents all season and finished with a record of 30 – 3 – 1.

They didn’t have an easy path to the Championship game, having to take on undefeated Veritas Prep and star pitcher Lainey Stephenson in a semi-final game. Stephenson entered Friday night’s contest with a record of 27 – 0, a 0.23 ERA, and averaging over 13 strikeouts per game.

Stephenson and Miner’s ace Lyana Waddell each had a no-hitter going through the first three innings before Veritas Prep broke through in the fourth with two runs. The Miners came back in the bottom of the fourth with timely hitting and aggressive base running. They also took advantage of some mistakes made by a team who appeared rattled in the field. They scored six runs in the fourth and added two more in the sixth in handing Veritas Prep their first and only loss of the season, 8 – 2.

“She had a great game,” Miners’ head coach Deanne Brewer said about her ace pitcher. “Lyana stayed composed. When she (pitches with a lead) she stays relaxed. She was ‘on’ on Friday night.”

As they did on Friday night, the Miners came from behind in Saturday’s championship. Alyssa Cuellar and Felicia Medina scored the tying runs in the seventh to send the game to extras. In the bottom of the eighth, Kadi Monfred reached when she was hit-by-pitch and Nicole Encinas followed with a walk. After a pop-out on a bunt attempt, Angela Navarro loaded the bases when she bunted safely. Alyssa Cuellar came up with the bases loaded and a chance to be the hero.

“It told Alyssa, ‘All we need is a fly ball to the outfield or a ground ball to the right side,’” Brewer recalled. “I told her to shorten up and put the ball in play.”

Cuellar came through, singling up the middle and scoring Monfred with the winning run.

After the game, Brewer said she was proud of her team and the way it performed all year. The Miners may have been overlooked by some, but their coach knew when the season started they had a chance to repeat.

“We knew early on we would be a competitor for the State Championship,” Brewer said.

Did her players play with a chip on their shoulder?

“I wouldn’t say they had a chip on their shoulder,” Brewer answered. “It was more like they were anxious to prove themselves.”

And did they ever.

The 2014 Division IV State Champions are: Nicole Encinas, Mireya Tamayo, Angela Navarro, MacKenzie Vindiola, Kadi Monfred, Mariah McBride, Ashley Vargas, Brittany Allison, Vivica Huerta, Felicia Gomez, Alyssa Cuellar, Lyana Waddell, Angelica Zuniga, Dionne Ruiz, Felicia Medina, and Victoria Ortega.

Andy Luberda (797 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.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    As new members take their seats, 2017-18 Superior Town Council gets down to business

    December 2nd, 2016
    by

    Effort to streamline zoning ordinance and buying new Fire Department ambulance are top concerns The 2017-18 Superior Town Council took […]


    Lady Miner volleyball trio earn All-Region honors

    November 30th, 2016
    by

      The conclusion of the girls’ volleyball season means a myriad of media outlets will be honoring players for their […]


    Mountain Vista School in Oracle opens basketball season

    November 30th, 2016
    by

      The Mountain Vista Cougars and Lady Cougars opened the 2016-17 basketball season against the Eloy Dust Devils at home. […]


    Siblings ready for Santa; mail your letters now

    November 30th, 2016
    by

      Siblings Peyton (2) and Ryland (3) McMillion are ready for Santa and came to work with their dad just […]


  • Additional Stories

    A Different Kind of Desert

    November 30th, 2016
    by

    By Linda Lyon   For those who’ve never lived in a desert, the word likely conjures up a picture of […]


    Regional Chief of Police – One Step Closer to happening

    November 30th, 2016
    by

      For well over a year, the communities of Hayden, Kearny and Mammoth have been without a police chief.  As […]


    Electric light parade, winter festival and Love Lights for the Copper Basin

    November 30th, 2016
    by

      Are you ready for an old-fashioned “Homemade Country Christmas”? There are only three days until the Electric Light Parade […]


    New Winkelman residents first in line to send wishes to Santa

    November 30th, 2016
    by

      Eli and Charity Pelt are ready for Christmas and know that even though they have a new address, Santa […]


  • Copperarea

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Southeast Valley Ledger

  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather