Softball | 04/24/2021
Matadors Miss Sweep of Central by 1 Inning
|Central Arizona College||1|
|Arizona Western College||4|
|Central Arizona College||2|
|Arizona Western College||1|
YUMA, Ariz---Leading for 13 of the 14 innings on the day, the #19 Arizona Western Matadors (26-13 overall, 14-8 ACCAC) missed their first sweep in six opponents due to Central Arizona's (24-11, 18-8 ACCAC) two run seventh in game two, forcing the split Saturday afternoon at Charlie Dine Field.
The Matador pitching was dominant over that time as McKenzie Gray scattered nine hits and used some stellar defense that included a triple play to hold off the 2nd best hitting team in the country for a 4-1 win in game one.
Gray was staked to an early 1-0 lead as the first three Matadors all singled and Nicole Moran's ground-out scored Christina Robles.
Gray was then the beneficiary of some terrific defense as Robles caught the second out of the second inning in right field and threw out Bella Garcia trying to tie the game at the plate.
Moran added a two run single in the third, extending the Matador lead to 3-0.
Central threatened a few times against Gray, stranding a pair of runners in the third and fifth innings each.
But the Vaquera's best opportunity came in the sixth when they loaded the bases for Jessica Mercado, with no outs. After a run came in three hitters into the inning, Mercado flew out to right field where Robles again threw home, the runner on third, Sonia Solis did not try to score but the pinch-runner on second was too agressive and Sadie Chavez caught the throw at the plate and whipped in back to Iliana Manzano who tagged out the runner at second. Solis then tried to scamper home but Manzano threw back to Chavez for the triple play.
The Matadors would get an insurance run thanks to Josie Hernandez and the 4-1 lead would hold up.
Anahi Grijalva kept Central off the board for much of game two, limiting the Vaqueras to just one hit in the first three innings.
Robles led off the bottom of the third with a single, stole second and moved to third on Cielo Echols' groundout.
Hernandez grounded a ball to second that Serinah Sanchez threw home in attempt to nab Robles, but the speedy Matador slid under the tag for the 1-0 lead.
The game would stay that way through the seventh although both teams had their chances. AWC left 13 runners stranded against Mercado and never could add the insurance run.
That would prove costly as Cheyenne Hudson started the seventh with a single and scored two batters later on Solis' RBI double. Bella Garcia delivered the go-ahead single for Central's first lead of the day with one-out in the seventh.
Grijalva would get out of the jam, but AWC could not answer despite putting two runner on in the bottom of the inning and come away with the 2-1 loss and their sixth consecutive split.
The Matadors will be on the road for three straight double-headers, concluding the regular season on May 8th at Charlie Dine Field against Pima.