The Casa Grande Cougars (24-7) defeated the Tempe Buffaloes (5-21-1) 18-2 Tuesday evening. The game was called early due to the 10-run mercy rule.
It didn’t take long for the Cougars to get on the board, scoring two runs early in the first inning. Their leadoff hitter, Alexa Key, started off the inning with a bunt down the first base line.
After getting on base she stole both second and third base, putting her team in great scoring position. The Cougar’s second hitter, Aleesia Sainz, got an RBI by hitting a deep fly ball into right field.
At the bottom of the inning the Cougars defense came out strong, getting back to back outs. The Buffaloes' third hitter, Petra Collins, hit a grounder straight to the third baseman but got on base due to a fielding error. With two outs on the board, the Buffaloes clean-up hitter, Arsovena White, hit a deep fly ball into the 7-8 gap. However, due to multiple fielding errors by the Cougars, she was able to get an infield home run.
“It was exciting and surprising. I was just like it’s going to be a base hit, maybe a double,” White said when asked about her home run.
After sliding into third base and noticing that the ball was overthrown, White had to quickly get up and run to third.
She said that in that moment nothing was going through her head, instead it was just second nature to just get up and run.
At the top of the second inning, the Cougars recorded seven runs off of six hits. This definitely hurt the confidence and momentum of the Buffaloes.
After getting the third out to end the inning, the Buffaloes wanted to come into the bottom of the half and put up a few runs of their own. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to do so.
Throughout the rest of the game the Cougars continued to dominate offensively and defensively, recording nine more runs.
For Megan O’Neill, first year head coach of the Buffaloes, the loss was a learning experience and will help prepare them for their next opponent, Coronado.
“We need to hit better," O'Neill said. "We also need to get dirty, stop the ball by getting in front of it, and just play together. Tomorrow is our last game. Its senior night, and I have seven seniors. It’s my first year here at Tempe, and they’re great kids. They need to just come out on fire and leave it all on the field. We won our first game of the season and it would be nice to win our last game."