YUMA, Ariz. –The Lady Matadors Offense broke out over two games but it couldn’t overcome three big innings from Central Arizona in the winner’s bracket of the Region I, Division I playoffs Friday afternoon at Charlie Dine Field.
The Matador offense got off to a hot start in each of the first two innings as Aylin Campa’s single and stolen base setup a two-out RBI triple by Cassandra Valle off the fence in right-center field. Central Arizona starter Trinity Valentine issued three consecutive walks to force home Valle.
The Matadors extended the lead to three in the second as Allie Tito started the inning with a single, and after moving to second on Sabrina Garcia’s sacrifice bunt, scored on Campa’s RBI single.
But the Vaqueras would respond against Matador’s starter Sarah Velasquez in the third. Justeen Vazquez lined a triple down the third base line before Aliya Ewell reached on an infield single. With runners on the corners, Evelyn Roman put Central on the scoreboard with a single to left. Sonia Solis followed it with an RBI double and Danielle Farinas pushed home Roman with a sacrifice fly. Madison Besaw put the Vaqueras ahead with an RBI single.
The Vaqueras then turned to their ace Baylee Eaton out of the bullpen, who held the Matadors scoreless in the bottom of the third.
The Matadors turned in the fourth to Kanani Vizcarra, who responded with a scoreless fourth inning.
The Matadors broke through against Eaton in the fourth after Tito and Garcia each singled, they were cashed in by Burgos and Valle respectively.
But Central had another big response thanks to a few miscues by the Matadors. After a lead-off walk to Roman, the Mats misplayed a sacrifice bunt and didn’t get any outs with an errant throw. With runners on first and second, Farinas tried to sacrifice but the Matadors attempted to get the lead runner, instead throwing it down the line to bring Roman home and tie the game. With the bases loaded, Nicold Ley grounded out to produce the second run of the inning before Makiya Thomas ripped a two-run double to cap a four run inning.
The Matadors traded single runs in th bottom of the fifth and top of the sixth, entering the seventh inning down 9-6.
With one out in the top of the seventh, Central reach with five straight base-runners and scored five runs, only ending as the Vaqueras ran into consecutive outs at home on singles to center with runners getting thrown out by Sabrina Garcia.
Down 14-6 in the bottom of the inning, the Matadors rallied after one out. Garcia, Campa, Burgos, Valle all singled before Michelle Roldan blasted a three-run homer to pull within three. But that would be as close as AWC would get as Eaton worked around a two-out double by Nicole Moran to seal the game and send Central to the championship round.
The Matadors will match-up with the Pima Aztecs at 10am with the winner advancing to play Central in the Region I Championship.
All of the games taking place in Yuma will be broadcast on AWC TV and streamed online.
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.