Local roundup: WNC baseball sweeps Cochise
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Each of WNC’s three starting pitchers flourished in the circle Friday during the opening day of the Scottsdale Community College Softball Tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Jimmy threw a five-hitter to beat host Scottsdale 9-1, while sophomore Kristina George tossed a four-hitter over seven innings before giving up four runs in the eighth to Glendale Community College in a 5-3 defeat.
If those sparkling performances weren’t enough, freshman McKell Marble took a no-hitter into the fifth inning against Arizona Christian University and finished with a three-hitter. Marble received a no-decision after the Firestorm rallied to tie the score in the seventh and won it 6-4 by scoring three runs in the eighth.
“All three pitchers had great performances,” said WNC coach Leah Wentworth. “It’s nice to see all three of them coming in and being on their games and getting it done.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t walk away with three wins today.”
Held to two hits by Arizona Christian sophomore Ashlynn Preciado through four innings, WNC finally broke the scoreless tie in the fifth. With two outs, Chelsea Latu singled to center and pinch-runner Makaylee Jaussi stole second base. Bailey Henderson’s line-drive double brought home Jaussi, and Melanie Mecham followed with a run-scoring single to make the score 2-0.
Treniece Lesky’s two-out single in the sixth scored Gabrielle Canibeyez to push WNC’s advantage to three runs.
Arizona Christian’s Kylie Christman’s three-run homer off Jimmy knotted the score at 3 in the seventh. Marble gave up a single and a walk to start the seventh, prompting Wentworth to bring in Jimmy in relief.
“That was tough because McKell was throwing a great game, but we wanted to change it up,” Wentworth said.
After Arizona Christian went ahead 6-3 in its half of the eighth, WNC’s Kelsie Callahan delivered an RBI single, but the Wildcats couldn’t produce a game-tying hit after putting runners on second and third bases with one out.
Taylor Fabing broke up Marble’s no-hit bid with a one-out double in the fifth. Abby Beasley, who walked, moved to third on the hit. Marble escaped the rally when Lesky threw out Beasley at the plate after catching a fly ball by Preciado.
In the Wildcats’ five-inning victory over Scottsdale, Latu smacked a two-run homer and knocked in four runs. Latu’s two-run homer in the second inning gave WNC a 3-0 lead, and her two-run single in fourth staked the Wildcats to an 8-0 edge.
Jimmy allowed five hits and one earned in five innings to pick up the win in the circle.
Latu went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and four RBI. Briauna Carter and Dakota Robinson provided two hits apiece, and Noa Talia crossed home plate twice.
WNC opened the two-day tournament with a 5-3 eight-inning defeat to Glendale Community College of Glendale, Calif.
The teams each plated a run in the first inning, but the score remained even until the eighth inning. With the international tiebreaker in effect, Glendale used three hits to go ahead 5-1.
WNC rallied for two runs in its half of the eighth as Mecham launched a two-run homer, but Glendale secured the victory.
Mecham supplied two of the Wildcats’ seven hits and knocked in three runs. Courtney Higgs went 2 for 3 and Bailey Henderson scored twice.
George pitched a complete game, striking out a season-high seven batters. She allowed seven hits and four earned runs.
The Wildcats will conclude their Scottsdale stay with two games on Saturday. WNC will meet South Mountain Community College at 11 a.m. and Phoenix College at 1 p.m.