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 (878 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

    SHS Hall of Fame celebrates 9th induction

    13 hours ago
    by

      The Superior High School Hall of Fame celebrated its 9th induction ceremony on Saturday.  Five SHS Alumni were inducted […]


    Jocelyn Hudson represents Sea Lions at Championship Swim Meet

    13 hours ago
    by

      The 8 and Under State Championship Swim Meet was held March 18-19 at the Phoenix Country Day School Pool.  […]


    Mountain Vista Cougars baseball, softball seasons underway

    13 hours ago
    by

      The baseball and softball teams at Mt. Vista School in Oracle have started their seasons in a winning way. […]


    Miners win consecutive games for first time this season

    14 hours ago
    by

      The San Manuel baseball team defeated Hayden and Desert Christian on Mar. 23-24, respectively, picking up their first back-to-back […]


  • Additional Stories

    Towns of Hayden and Mammoth select Chief of Police

    14 hours ago
    by

      The Town of Hayden voted last week to hire Tami Villar as the Interim – Police Chief for Hayden […]


    Ray High School’s 1992 Men’s Basketball State Championship team honored

    14 hours ago
    by

      The 1992 Ray High School Men’s state basketball championship team was honored by the AIA for their accomplishments on […]


    Kearny Library sponsors National Library Week Bookmark Contest 2017

    14 hours ago
    by

    Kearny -National Library Week Bookmark Contest 2017, sponsored locally by the Kearny Public Library and Friends of the Kearny Library, […]


    Arizona Water Company seeks substantial rate increases for towns along the Copper Corridor

    14 hours ago
    by

      Residents along the Copper Corridor served by the Arizona Water Co. (AWC) could see a substantial increase in their […]


  • Copperarea

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