Local Baseball and Softball Teams Were Busy During Spring Break

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4 Corners of Sports for week of 03/14/16 – 03/20/16

POSTON BUTTE

Baseball – The Broncos split two games during the week, defeating Flowing Wells on Mar. 15 after a 2 – 0 loss at Northwest Christian on Mar. 14. Senior Keaton Badger earned Player of the Game honors after hitting two doubles and driving in two runs in the Broncos’ 15 – 5 win at Flowing Wells. Badger’s two hits were part of a 10-hit attack, which also included two hits from Juan Navarrete, who also had four RBI in the win. Dylan Vanderlip, a junior, and sophomore Nolan McNeill drove in three and two runs, respectively. Starting pitcher Joshua Touhey picked up the win, going six innings and allowing five runs – two earned – on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Corbin Bendel pitched a scoreless inning in relief.

Softball – The Lady Broncos defeated both Flowing Wells and Window Rock by lopsided margins during the week, outscoring both opponents by a combined score of 32 – 3. Freshman Lindsay Lopez had two hits, including a grand slam, and seven RBI in a 14 – 2 win against Flowing Wells on Mar. 15. The homerun was Lopez’ fourth round-tripper of the season. Kaily Candel had three hits and an RBI while Alex Faust and Megan Clark each had two hits with one and two RBI, respectively. Lopez, the starter and pitcher of record, combined with Taylor Strupp to pitch five innings, allowing only two unearned runs on three hits. The pitching duo walked two and struck out five Caballeros’ hitters in the Broncos’ fourth-straight win and ninth of the season overall.

COMBS

Softball – The Lady Coyotes reached the semifinals of the 12th Annual Salt River/Chandler Prep Softball Classic, which took place Mar. 17-19 at Valley Christian High School. They went 2-1-1 in the three day event, including a 12 – 6 win against defending Division V State Champion Superior – the Lady Panthers’ only loss to date. Division V runner-up San Manuel defeated Combs in the semis.

QUEEN CREEK

Softball – The Lady Bulldogs went 4 – 3 in the 19th Annual Desert Mountain Invitational, which took place Mar. 16-19. The spring-break tournament is arguably the most prestigious tournament each year, fielding the state’s top teams and this year a team from Hawaii. The Lady Bulldogs defeated Horizon and Basha (in extra innings) in pool play before winning two of three games in the consolation bracket, including a 17 – 4 lopsided victory against Desert Ridge, one of the top teams in the tournament. Twelve different Lady Bulldogs’ hitters had at least one hit in a 15-hit attack against the Jaguars, including homeruns from Ryann Holmes and Brittany Benavidez in addition to a double each by Jaylei Brechler, Kirstin Denning, and Taryn Simmons. Holmes, Benavides, and Julia Heitz each had two hits in the win. Heitz earned the complete-game victory, allowing four runs – one earned – on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Andy Luberda (1135 Posts)

Andrew Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working 15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for 11 high schools. His stories are published in Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun, in addition to the San Tan Valley Daily PRSS and CopperArea websites. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College before graduating with a BS in Communication from Arizona State University in 2014. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


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