Softball: Pinnacle goes deep twice in 11th to top Hamilton

March 3, 2017 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Pinnacle didn't have to wait long to get back at Hamilton for last year's 3-0 loss in the 2016 big-school softball title game.

As the second week of the 2017 regular season wound down Friday afternoon, Pinnacle used the long ball in the 11th inning to outlast host Hamilton, 9-4, in a 2 1/2-hour matchup of early unbeaten 6A squads. Pinnacle suffered three of its seven losses last year to Hamilton.

Taylor Fawcett unloaded a three-run homer with one out in the 11th to snap a 4-4 tie. Jessica Mabrey followed with a solo blast and Pinnacle tacked on one more via a wild pitch before Hamilton secured the third out. PInnacle improved to 8-0 overall. The Pioneers are 2-0 in power ranking games and their other wins secured the title of Sunrise Mountain's Preseason Invitational last week.

Pinnacle collected nine hits in the game, but Fawcett's homer off Hamilton's Madison Seigworth was her only hit of the game. Fawcett was 0-5 with three strikeouts in prior at-bats. Seigworth was the winning pitcher in last year's tite-game victory. with a complete-game shutout. 

Marissa Schuld retired Hamilton (3-1 overall, 3-1 prg) in order in the bottom of the 11th inning and picked up the win. Schuld allowed a game-tying, two-run double by Hamilton's Bella Loomis in the bottom of the seventh that forced extra innings, but was effective in the rest of her relief stint.

A key play in the eighth, the only time Hamilton threatened Schuld when all runners were her responsibility, was catcher Mabrey retrieving a fortuitous rebound of a passed ball to Schuld covering home to cut down what would have been the game-winning tally for Hamilton.

Both teams were pitching rich a year ago and that hasn't changed this year. Their top two pitchers from 2016 are back. All four got work in the highly-anticipated rematch.

For Pinnacle, Cook allowed four runs, one earned in 6 1/3 innings, four hits, two walks and fanned nine. Schuld surrendered three hits, one walk and struck out eight in 4 2/3 innings.  For Hamilton Abby Andersen got the start. Andersen gave up sxi hits, four runs (three earned) and struck out five. Andersen was also touched for a home run -- a two-run shot by Pinnacle's Kris Slayton in the sixth that broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth. Seigworth was brilliant her first four innings of work, not allowing a run and just two hits. She was reached for five hits and all five runs in the 11th. Siegworth struck out nine.

Hamilton plays one power-ranking game next week before embarking on back-to-back invitational tournaments in Bullhead City and then the Desert Mountain Invitational at Horizon Park. Pinnacle has a trio of power-ranking games next week with Westview, Boulder Creek and Red Mountain before it competes at the Desert Mountain Invitational.