The Ray Junior High Bearcat softball team played the last game of the season at home against the San Carlos Braves. In a game that was to tune them up for the League Championship, the Bearcats ended up running away with the game. The final score after four complete innings 27-1.
The Ray Bearcats took the #1 spot in the regular season and heading into the League Championships with a record of 8-1. The only loss this season was at the site of the League Championship, Eloy. The 1 and 2 seeds received a 1stround buy while the 3-6 seeds had to start off the playoffs against one another. When all was said and done, the Blue Devils of Eloy won their match up against the San Manuel Miners to set up an opportunity of redemption for the Bearcats for their only loss of the season.
The Blue Devils were up first and their batters quickly returned to the dugout 1-2-3. The Bearcats first at bat returned only 1 run led by the quick base running of Janae Ruiz. The 2ndinning the Blue Devil batters returned to the dugout 1-2-3. The Bearcat batters also went to their dugout 1-2-3.
The 3rdinning the Blue Devil batters once again went to the dugout 1-2-3. The 3rdat bat for the Bearcats was one for the books, led by a Danni Montano 3-run homer. By the time the 3rdinning ended the Bearcats had batted through the lineup and were leading 7-1. The Blue Devils batters looking for a spark off offense their 4thtime at bat, instead were met with defense and returned to the dugout 1-2-3. The Bearcats managed to send 7 batters to the plate, load the bases, and gather only 1 more insurance run in the 4thinning. The 5thand final bat for the Blue Devils yielded one walk, while the Bearcats scored two more runs their turn at bat, ending the game with a final score of 10-0 over last years league champion.
The Bearcats were led offensively by Ema Alvarado (2-3, 2 triples), Janae Ruiz (2-3), Julie Meza (1-2), Amee Kenyon (1-2), Danni Montano (1-3, HR), Sydney Contreras (1-3), and Naomi Hing (1-3). Going the distance on the mound Daniella Hinojos (7K, 1W, 0 ER) managed to throw 64 pitches over 5 innings.
Hoping for a 1-2 match up in the Championship, the team colors across the field were the same, but it was the Globe Tigers staring at them. After the player announcements and pledge of allegiance, it was game time-championship time.
The Tigers scored first, but was quickly answered by 3 Bearcat runs. The 2ndinning both teams scored 1 run apiece to bring the score to 4-2. The 3rdinning, both teams were held scoreless, still 4-2 Bearcats.
Then the game began, the 4thinning the Tigers scored 3 runs to take the lead, the Bearcats scored 3 runs to take back the lead. The 5thinning the Tigers scored 3 runs to take the lead, the Bearcats returned the favor and scored 3 runs to take back the lead once again. With the 6thand final regulation inning at hand the Tigers scored 2 runs to tie the score 10-10. The bottom of the 6thlast at bat, the Bearcats had the game winning run (Tara Lorona) at 3rdbase. Tara managed to cross home plate as the 3rdout was being made at 1stbase. No score. 10-10. Extra innings.
Now in extra innings, the Tigers were able to score 1 run in the 7thinning. With the top of the lineup coming up for the Bearcats, what more could you ask for from a final at bat for the championship. Janae Ruiz did her job as lead off, she got on base and stole a base. With the 2-3-4-5 batters left and no outs, the coach decided to let the players hit out instead of bunt the run in.
With runners on 1stand 2nd, one force out, one fly out to center, and 1 strikeout. Four missed opportunities and an end to a great season for the Bearcats. Hats off to the Globe Tigers. What a Championship game … 6 lead changes and 1 tie. Final score 11-10.
Leading the offense on a 16 hit-10 batters left on base game, Ema Alvarado (5-5, 2 triples, double), Tara Lorona (3-4, 3 doubles), Julie Meza (3-5, double), Naomi Hing (1-2, double), Sydney Contreras (2-4). Starting on the mound and closing Daniella Hinojos (1K, 1W, 0 ER) and Danni Montano relieving (1K, 4W, 4 ER). Joining the 9 player All-Tournament Team from the Bearcats were Daniella Hinojos-Pitcher, Ema Alvarado-Shortstop, and Danni Montano-Third Base.