Softball: Desert Vista wins Desert Mountain Invitational

March 19, 2016 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Desert Vista completed perhaps the best week in the school's softball history on Saturday afternoon.

Jill Navarro's hard-hit grounder to the left side couldn't be handled and plated the winning run with two outs as Desert Vista edged Pinnacle, 2-1, to win the championship of the 19th annual Desert Mountain Invitational at Horizon Park. Navarro's double in the fifth inning in a 5-4 win over Hamilton drove in what proved to be the winning run in that game.

Desert Vista won all seven of its games in the tournament, opened the week with a 10-0 power-ranking win over Division II power Canyon del Oro and now stands 15-2 on the season. It was a collaborative effort to be sure with hitting and defense coming through at various times as well. Certainly, however, pitcher Brooke Hughes has to take a tad more credit for her effort during the week.

Hughes won four of the eight games -- shutting out Canyon del Oro, Mountain Pointe and Chaparral and finishing with the title-game decision over Pinnacle. (15-3). She also earned the save for pitching partner Mara Kemmer in the semfiinals with two shutout innings. Hughes surrendered just three singles and walked noone against Pinnacle. She allowed one run iand niine hits in 27 innings this week -- a tidy 0.26 earned-run average. Kemmer notched three pitching wins -- Desert Ridge, Pinnacle in pool play and Hamilton. Her bat was torried in the leadoff spot as she was 6-of 8 in three games of bracket play.

Hughes was staked to a 1-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a two-out , RBI single by Kiara Kennedy. Both teams had runners in scoring position the rest of the way, but neither scored until Pinnacle evened things with a two-out innfield single from McKenna Adams in the top of the seventh. Adams hit scored Alex Cook, who opened the inning reaching on a hit by pitch.

Turnabout was fair play in the bottom of the inning as Pinnacle's Marissa Schuld, who pitched well enough to win, hit pinch-hitter Jackie Trauber with a pitch to open the inning. A single by Kemmer (three hits and a walk for the game), a sacrifice and intentional walk filled the bases with one out. Deserrt Vista cleanup hitter Kaylee Dietrich grounded sharply to third, but Pinnacle got the second out on a force at home. That brought up Navarro who hit the first pitch solidly off the glove of shortstop Karlee Johnson bringing home Kemmer with the winning run.

Pinnacle almost didn't reach the title game. The Pioneers were down 2-0 to Sahuaro in the seventh, but a Sahuaro throwing error with two outs in the seventh allowed for 2-2 tie. Pinnacle went on to win, 5-3, in eight innings. Schuld came on to secure the final two outs and earn the save for starter and winner CC Cook.