Ironwood Ridge vs Canyon Del Oro Softball

Ironwood Ridge’s Reina Bondi sets up for a bunt.

Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

The week is headlined by one of the games of the year in prep softball as No. 3 Ironwood Ridge and No. 6 Canyon Del Oro (CDO) meet on the diamond. While both are likely to qualify for state, the winner will climb in the rankings with an eye on the top-four seed and two home games to start the playoffs. 

Not to be outdone, boys and girls tennis will see two of the most anticipated matches of the year on Thursday. In boys tennis, No. 1 ranked Catalina Foothills travels to meet sixth-ranked Ironwood Ridge. 


Canyon Del Oro

The CDO softball team carries a nine-game winning streak into the week and are well on their way to qualifying for state. They begin the week ranked sixth in the state in Division II after sweeping Vista Grande, Sunnyside and Mountain View last week. 

In addition to the Nighthawks, the Dorados also get a struggling Rincon squad that has just one regular-season win. 

The Dorado baseball team is ranked sixth in the state, but saw a four-game win streak snapped in a 7-6 loss to Sunnyside. 

CDO gets a rivalry game this week with Ironwood Ridge, but bragging rights are really all that is at stake as the Nighthawks are struggling. 

The Dorado boys tennis team still has a shot at making the Division II state bracket, but will have to finish strong. 

Although their 8-3 record is solid, they need a few more wins to catapult from 23rd to the top 16. A win over No. 1 Catalina Foothills would help and an upcoming match against Mountain View is critical. 

The Dorado girls tennis team has an even better shot at the playoffs. Currently ranked 17th, the 7-2 Dorados will get a boost just by playing No. 2 Catalina Foothills this week, and a win would really solidify their cause.


Ironwood Ridge

The third-ranked Ironwood Ridge softball team are winners of five of their last six games, with their lone loss, this month, coming against a solid Empire club. Since the 4-2 loss on March 4, the Nighthawks have rattled off three in a row. They outscored Sunnyside and Mountain View 30-3, and edged Salpointe 1-0.

The Nighthawks’ boys volleyball team is in great shape for a playoff run. They have won four of their last five games and have a strong No. 13 ranking that still gives them an outside shot at a top-eight seed and a first-round bye. This next week, they face Cholla and Tucson High, two teams with losing records ranked outside the top-40.

The Nighthawks’ boys and girls’ tennis teams have already wrapped up their spots in the state tournament, and are now just competing for seeding. 



The Marana softball team enters the week on a roll, winning four straight by a combined score of 37-4. The Tigers are currently ranked 15th and have a strong regular-season record, but have not played the toughest part of their schedule. Although the post season still looks likely,the Tigers could see their seeding shift this week as they face top-10 Sabino and top-25 Salpointe, in addition to Nogales, not to mention Ironwood Ridge down the line. 

The Tigers’ baseball team is trying to ensure their spot in the postseason. They enter the week ranked 22nd, with only 24 spots in the state tournament. 

The Tigers are 8-3 in regular-season games that count towards the postseason, but have only won four of their last seven. The Tigers have seven games remaining, and will play three games this week against teams ranked behind them. 

Looking forward, the Tigers need to pile up some wins because the schedule strength is just not there. Of the final seven teams, only the Lancers and Division III Palo Verde have winning records.

The Marana boys’ volleyball team has had a strong start to the season, but still have a battle on their hands to make the postseason. The 8-3 Tigers are currently ranked 22nd and would be in the playoffs if they started today. 

Over the next week, they have two winnable games against teams ranked behind them. One of those games is against rival Mountain View. Although the Mountain Lions are just 3-4 and ranked 39th, they have always given the Tigers strong competition. Before they meet Mountain View, they will face CDO. Like the Mountain Lions, the Dorados are a sub .500 squad, but have always been tough. Two wins would not only further bolster their playoff resume, but also be a great confidence booster for the Tigers.


Catalina Foothills

The Catalina Foothills baseball team is looking to right the ship and get back to their winning ways. The Falcons are in good shape for the postseason, despite losing two of three games last week. 

The Falcons got a win over Marana, but then had a pair of losses to Salpointe and Tucson High. Their 19-4 loss to the Lancers put an end to a nine-game win streak, including five straight regular-season games that helped them into the top 15. 

The Falcons play just a single road game against 6-6 Casa Grande Union this week.

The Falcon boys’ volleyball team finds themselves in an unusual position of just trying to make the playoffs. The Falcons enter the week with some momentum as they have won three of four games and are now ranked 25th in the state. Last week they downed Pueblo and Mountain View, picking up a pair of section wins. 

The bad news is that they would still be on the outside looking in if the season ended today, but they still have time to improve with seven games remaining. They only place once this week, getting a solid Salpointe squad who is in a similar position as the Falcons in terms of trying to get into the playoff hunt. 

The Foothills girls and boys tennis teams are the model of consistency once again. The two teams have dominated not only southern Arizona, but the state for years and continue to do so. The two teams are a combined 21-0, with the boys ranked No. 1 in the state in Division II and the girls ranked No. 2. They both close out the regular season this week with a trio of matches, including the Thursday showdown with the Nighthawks.


Mountain View

The Mountain View boys tennis team has some work to do, but is still in the mix for a team postseason spot. The 22nd ranked Mountain Lions are coming off a 9-0 loss to No. 1 Catalina Foothills, but still have a match against sixth ranked Ironwood Ridge that could boost their ranking and their match against CDO could be an elimination match if both teams ride win streaks heading into the game.



Pusch Ridge

The Pusch Ridge girls tennis team is fighting for their postseason lives. Currently ranked 15th, they have little room for error. The 6-4 Lions still have matches with Santa Rita and Sabino this week, then close out the regular season against St. Gregory’s next week. 

The Pusch Ridge boys have no worries about qualifying their team for state and are concentrating on seeding. The Lions are 11-0 and ranked second in the Division II poll. They should get a top-four seed and get to host matches the first two rounds. 

Despite only having a .500 record, the Pusch Ridge softball team still has a very real shot at the playoffs thanks to a very tough schedule. The Lions have lost three of four, but are still ranked 14th and would be in the playoffs if they started today. 

The Lions’ baseball team suffered only their second loss of the regular season last week, but at 11-2 they still hold the No. 2 spot in the Division IV state polls. Pusch Ridge fell to Desert Christian 6-3, but turned around and beat Bisbee 6-5 to return to their winning ways. They have a light load this week with just a single game against Tombstone.

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