The Canyon Del Oro Dorados and Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks will have a chance to settle things when they meet for the second time in the loser’s bracket of the Division II double elimination state tournament.
In their first meeting on May 5, the Nighthawks edged the Dorados by a score of 9-8. The teams will meet again on Friday at Cherry Field at 6:30 p.m.
The winner will advance to play Sunrise Mountain High School in the state championship game, held at Arizona State University’s Farrington Stadium at 5:30 p.m. on May 14.
The Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks faced their first loss in the state tournament on Wednesday, falling to #1 seed Sunrise Mountain 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Sunrise Mountain captured the win after senior Taylor Nowlin hit a double to bring in Danae King, who narrowly beat the throw to score the only run of the game. Makayla McAdams made a valiant effort from the mound for the Nighthawks, striking out eight batters and only giving up four hits with no walks.
Ironwood’s Robin Landrith and Erin Satterfield hit back-to-back doubles to advance to second and third base, but the spot-on pitching of Nowlin prevented either runner from advancing further. Nowlin struck out ten batters and like McAdams, allowed only four hits in the game.
Despite the loss, the Nighthawks’ defense was solid, allowing only one runner to reach second base prior to the seventh inning.
CDO managed to avoid double elimination with a win over Gila Ridge in Tuesday night’s elimination game, followed by a win over the Sabino Sabercats on Wednesday to set up the rematch with Ironwood.
The Dorados came out hot against Gila Ridge, led by Kayla Bonstrom and Sammi Noland, who each hit doubles early on. The momentum carried the Dorados to an early 5-0 lead at the end of one.
Bonstrom landed another double, and Noland hit a homerun to lead the Dorados to a six-run inning in the second. CDO closed the game out 12-0.
CDO managed to hang on against Sabino, even after the Sabercats tied the game at 5-5 in the top of the fifth inning. Makenzie Sullivan gave CDO the advantage in the sixth inning to boost her team to a 7-5 lead, which the Dorados maintained to capture the win.