Lions finish with semi-final loss to state champs - Tucson Local Media: Sports

Lions finish with semi-final loss to state champs

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Posted: Monday, May 17, 2010 11:00 pm

When the youthful Pusch Ridge Christian Lions softball team made the semi-finals in 2A-play, they had reached a level that couldn't have been expected at season's start.

The team had no seniors, and the only juniors were Nikki Hammond, Cori Messer-Meyers, Mariela Ramirez, and Kaycee Thompson. The team still went 13-5 and were only one game away from the state championship game.

So when the Lions went down to eventual state champion Willcox, 9-1, the final results couldn't have been too disappointing.

"Willcox was a much more experienced team," said coach Bob Vance. "We out-hit them, but had more errors and walked more batters — on a team with no seniors." He added, "We feel really good about being back next year."

Even in the loss, Thompson had three hits, as she batted 8-13 in the tournament. Sophomore Corey Ward emerged as a pitching star in the playoffs, as she pitched a shutout against Chandler Valley Christian in the first-round, with seven strikeouts.

"It was really a good team effort," Vance said.

Earlier in the season, after a 6-3 start, Vance said he expected to go deep into the playoffs.

The offense was impressive as Pusch Ridge averaged 11 runs per game. In their second playoff game, the offense exploded in a 16-11 win over San Manuel, which marked the sixth time this year that the Lions scored 16 or more runs in a game.

The team's four best hitters were the first four batters in the lineup, Rachel Majors, Sarah Majors, Rachel Ward and Thompson. All four will return next season.

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HS Schedule


Aug. 21

Hamilton @ Ironwood Ridge

Rio Rico @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Desert Edge

Aug. 28

CDO @ Gilbert

Mountain View @ La Joya Community

Pueblo @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Bisbee

Sep. 4

CDO @ Tucson High Magnet School

Westwood @ Ironwood Ridge

Horizon @ Mountain View

Marana @ Pueblo

Benson @ Pusch Ridge

Catalina Foothills @ Cienega

Sep. 11

CDO @ Sahuaro

Salpointe @Ironwood Ridge

Mountain View @ Sunnyside

Arcadia @ Marana

McClintock @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Combs

Sep. 18

Cienega @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge @ Tucson High

Buena @ Mountain View

Marana @ Tempe

Catalina Foothills @ Rincon/University

Pusch Ridge @ Amphi

Sep. 25

Buena @ CDO

Sahuaro @ Ironwood Ridge

Mountain View at Cienega

Marana @ Catalina Foothills

Cholla @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 2

CDO @ Ironwood Ridge

Queen Creek @ Mountain View

Nogales @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Safford

Sahuarita @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 9

Poston Butte @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge @ Queen Creek

Shadow Ridge @ Mountain View

Marana @ Desert View

Nogales @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Flowing Wells

Oct 16

CDO @ Queen Creek

Ironwood Ridge @ Marcos de Niza

Mountain View @ Poston Butte

Rincon/University @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Sabino

Pueblo @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 23

Mountain View @ CDO

Poston Butte @ Ironwood Ridge

Marana @ Safford

Desert View @ Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 30

CDO @ Campo Verde 

Ironwood Ridge @ Mountain View

Sabino @ Marana

Pusch Ridge @ Rio Rico

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