Ironwood Ridge and Canyon Del Oro high schools are off to fast starts this softball season.
The two teams, typically among the best in the state, are a combined 23-1 and a perfect 11-0 in regular season games that count towards the state playoffs.
One of the best rivalries in any sport in the state, the two teams will not meet in the postseason since they are now in different conferences after realignment. The Nighthawks are in 5A, while the Dorados are in 4A. The two teams will meet on March 24.
After winning the Dorado Classic in late February, the Nighthawks have won all five regular season games. They have scored 8 or more runs in four of the five games, the fifth being a 4-0 win over a good Salpointe squad.
The school is on spring break and the team was going to be tested at the Desert Mountain Softball Tournament in the Phoenix area.
The Dorados are 6-0 to start the week and have dominated the competition. After
beating Sahuaro 14-7, they won their next five games by a combined 56-4.
As a team they are batting .459 and have belted 20 home runs, led by Alexis Kaiser and Ellessa Bonstrom, who have hit seven and six, respectively.
In the circle Amya Legarra is already 6-1 and has struck out 55 batters in 51 innings.
Mountain View is 6-4 overall, but is 4-1 in regular season games, winning their first four of the season. The team got some big wins edging Rincon 6-3 and then holding off a Poston Butte rally and edging the Broncos 7-6.
Not to be outdone, Pusch Ridge is 7-0 on the season and 3-0 in regular season games. The Lions won all five games at the Desert Classic Tournament and have won their first three regular season games by a combined score of 45-5.
Track and Field
Mountain View hosted the Desert Tune-Up Invitational over the weekend and Marana had a great showing. The Tigers had the outstanding performers on both the boys and girls side and each team finished first or second.
The Tiger girls won the event, their 105 points were 35 better than second place Empire. Mountain view was 11th and Pusch Ridge was 13th.
Sendra Hamilton on the 300 Meter Hurdles and the 200 Meter Dash, on her way to Female Athlete of the Meet.
Grace Hala’ufia was 2nd in the Discus and 1st in Shot put, edging sister Mele Hala’ufia. Mele won the triple jump and was 5th in the 800 meters.
Ayanna Valles was 3rd in 100 Meter Hurdles.
The boys finished second, their 77 points were 46 behind champion Salpointe. Mountain View was 9th, while Pusch Ridge was 11th.
Dominic Gehr took the top boy honors thanks to wins in the 110 Meter Hurdles, the 300M Hurdles and the Long Jump (22-01) and was second in the Pole Vault.
Fellow Tigers Tyson Corner was third in the shot put, while Daelyn Toone was third in the Triple Jump.
Canyon del Oro hurdler Chelsey Murphy committed to Western State Colorado University early last week. She recently made a visit to the school in Gunnison, Colorado. They are an NCAA Division II school who compete in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference against schools in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and South Dakota.
Last year at the Division II state track and field championships Murphy was sixth in the 100 Meter Hurdles and fifth in the 300 Meter Hurdles.
She also played for the Dorados girls basketball team.