SOFTBALL: walk-off double from Lesly Cazares lifts Desert View past Empire
March 16, 2016 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365
Tucson Badger Softball Invitational
Mar. 16-19: Cherry Field
Desert View beat Empire 4-3 Wednesday afternoon to start off pool play at the Badger Classic. The Jaguars (6-6-1) scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to get past the Ravens (5-4).
Down 3-2, junior captain Lesly Cazares doubled home Gabriella Soza and Ariana Vasquez for the walk-off win after Soza reached on a dropped third-strike and Vasquez came up with an infield hit.
"I really wasn't trying to do anything big," Cazares said. "I mean I trust the players in front of me and behind me. I have faith in them like they do in me. I just went up there trying to do what I needed to do to help my team."
The Jaguars were in control of the game with freshman Reanna Martinez limiting the defending Division III state champions to three hits through five innings. Meanwhile, Arlett Arreola scored on an error to give Desert View a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third and Cazares doubled in Vasquez in the bottom of the fifth to make the lead 2-0.
Noelle Kerr got the start for Empire and it looked like the junior standout was about to get her third win of the year after the Ravens exploded for three runs in the top of the sixth to take a 3-2 lead.
Jessica Perry reached on a one-out single and Emma Garbutt followed with a 2-run blast to tie the game up at 2-2. Elysa Rodriguez was then hit-by-pitch and McKenzie Kirkland doubled her home two batters later for the 3-2 lead.
Martinez shut the Ravens down in the top of the seventh and Cazares came up with her heroics in the bottom half of the inning.
Even with the loss, Kerr still feels her team should not be counted out.
"We are a new team but we still have the same dream," she explained. "We work extra hard and are doing our best getting after it. We will not lose our focus and we certainly won't let this get us down."
Empire finished 30-5 last year and lost six seniors to graduation. Desert View finished 19-11 and made the Division II state playoffs. The Jaguars won a state title in 2000.
Wednesday, March 16
Buena 11, Cholla 1
Desert View 4, Empire 3
Catalina Foothills 7, Rincon/UHS 6
Vista Grande 4, Flowing Wells 3
Tucson 6, Pueblo 1
Marana vs. Rio Rico
Thursday, March 17
Marana vs. Empire, 9 a.m.
Sunnyside vs. Cholla, 9 a.m.
Marana vs. Pueblo, 11 a.m.
Empire vs. Tucson, 11 a.m.
Cholla vs. Rincon/UHS, 1 p.m.
Flowing Wells vs. Sunnyside, 1 p.m.
Pueblo vs. Rincon, 3 p.m.
Desert View vs. Vista Grande, 3 p.m.
Rio Rico vs. Buena, 5 p.m.
Catalina Foothills vs. Desert View, 5 p.m.
Friday, March 18
Pueblo vs. Flowing Wells, 9 a.m.
Cholla vs. Tucson, 9 a.m.
Flowing Wells vs. Tucson, 11 a.m.
Rio Rico vs. Rincon, 11 a.m.
Buena vs. Empire, 1 p.m.
Marana vs. Desert View, 1 p.m.
Vista Grande vs. Catalina Foothills, 3 p.m.
Rio Rico vs. Sunnyside, 3 p.m.
Catalina Foothills vs. Buena, 5 p.m.
Sunnyside vs. Vista Grande, 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 19
Bracket Play: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Championship Game