YUMA, Ariz. –Sarah Velasquez kept one of the best offenses in the country off-balance over seven innings while another one of the best offenses provided five runs of support as the Arizona Western College Matadors split with the Phoenix College Bears Saturday Afternoon at Charlie Dine Field.
With the two leaders in the ACCAC entering the day separated by just four games with just two weeks remaining, the contest started off tight with neither team able to grab ahold of the lead over the first three innings.
Matador Starter Koryne Coddington traded zeroes with Hannah Krosky, the Bears’ starter, in the first inning.
Phoenix broke through in the second after a Matador error allowed Haley Johnston to reach base to start the inning, Johnston then went to third on a throwing error on the same play. Ela Henry singled her home but Coddington backed her defense with a strike out, inducing a fielder’s choice, and a fly out to keep it a one run game.
The Matadors supported Coddington in return after Chloe Garcia earned a one out walk in front of a single by Aylin Campa. With two-outs Sabrina Garcia singled them both home to take the lead.
The lead would be brief as Krosky belted a two-run homer to left-center field in the top of the third to put Phoenix back in front.
Arizona Western’s offense retrieved the run in the bottom of the inning when Andrea Cline came home on an error by the Bear’s infield, tying the game at three.
Krosky and Coddington both buckled down and held the offenses quiet over the next two innings.
In the top of the sixth, the Bears threated after a leadoff walk. Then with runner’s on first and second and one out after another walk, Kamryn Moctezuma lined a ball destined for left field before Cassandra Valle leaped to make a run-saving catch and preserve the tie.
But, the next better popped up to left field and a dropped fly ball resulted in the go-ahead runner coming in to score.
The Matadors threatened in the seventh but Krosky stranded the tying run on second and winning run on first to defeat Arizona Western 4-3.
Coddington was saddled with the loss despite half of the runs allowed being unearned.
Game two was again about pitching as Sarah Velasquez quickly retired the Bears in the first.
Sabrina Garcia laced a triple to start the bottom of the inning and scored on Azalea Moore’s groundout.
Velasquez and the Matadors maintained the lead until the top of the fourth when Anicela Parra went yard to tie the game at one.
But the Matadors responded with a big inning as Michelle Roldan started the inning with a single and moved to second on Reina Tsuma’s sacrifice bunt. Yaziel Lazo ripped a single to put runners on the corners with one out. Then, with Sabrina Garcia batting, a failed pick-off attempt at first base trickled away from the first-basemen Krosky allowing Roldan to score. Garcia walked and Moore singled in the infield to load the bases for Danielle Burgos who quickly ripped a single into center to make it 4-1.
The team’s would trade runs in the sixth before Velasquez retired the Bears quickly in the seventh to secure the 5-2 and the double-header split.
Arizona Western is now 43-7 on the season and 34-6 in the ACCAC.
The Lady Matadors have Tuesday off before hitting the road on the 27th of April for a pair of conference games against Chandler-Gilbert. They wrap up the final week of the season with home games on Tuesday against Eastern, make-up games against Scottsdale on Thursday the 2nd, and Saturday’s Sophomore Day against Glendale.
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma.