Coconino catcher Sam Seery tagged Karina Somoza at home to preserve an early 1-0 lead.
It was not a good day for 5A/6A baseball from Southern Arizona as the teams went a combined 0-5 on the day. The five losses came before the double-elimination round which means the season is now over for these programs.
Softball faired a bit better with 12 wins from 1A to 6A. No. 3 Tucson survived the 6A First Round with a 10-7 win over No. 14 Desert Mountain which means the Badgers will have to lose twice in order to be eliminated.
There is no double elimination the rest of the way for the other conferences and No. 1 Canyon del Oro, No. 5 Salpointe and No. 6 Pueblo all survived 4A action to advance to the quarterfinal round to be played Tuesday, May 2 at the higher seed.
In 3A softball action, No. 11 Sabino, No. 12 Empire and No. 14 Sahuarita have all moved to the quarterfinal round to be played on Friday, May 5 at Rose Mofford. Sahuarita upset No. 2 Show Low 4-2. Sabino and Sahuarita will face each other for the third time this year and each program has one win in the series.
No. 6 St. David is the last team from Southern Arizona competing in 1A action. The Tigers will face No. 12 Mogollon in the quarterfinal round on Friday, May 5 at Rose Mofford.
Pueblo (22-2) won the Division IV state championship last year and the Warriors survived a scare from Coconino (15-12) Saturday morning in 4A action.
The Panthers scored in the top of the first on an RBI single from Taylor Brown that scored Rachel Tosi. Tosi reached on a leadoff walk to start the game. That lead held up until the Warriors scored in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game up.
The Warriors had a chance to tie things up in the bottom of the first but Kari Somoza was thrown out at home attempting to score from second base on an error. Shelly Romero hit a double in the second but she was stranded at third base and Ari Ruiz was stranded at third in the bottom of the third.
Romero singled to start off the bottom of the fourth and would score later in the inning on a sacrifice fly from Kam Gastelum to tie the game 1-1. Only a freshman, Romero is batting .352 and she went 2-3 in her first playoff game and scored twice.
“I love it,” Romero said after the game. “It’s exciting to know I’m playing as a freshman and I’m actually on the field. We struggled early but we regrouped, did our jobs and came out as a team today.”
Junior Sia Thomas (11-0) took the circle for Pueblo and sophomore Kaitlyn Snopek (8-6) got the ball for the Panthers. Snopek shared duties with Tosi (6-4) this year. Tosi has been the main pitcher for the program and Snopek feels honored to be stepping in her shoes.
“I had a really good year and I’m grateful I got to pitch with Rachel,” Snopek explained. “She has been my inspiration and I worked so hard to be as good as her. I think I will have the experience now to help me team next year.”
Coconino scored a run in the top of the fifth to go back up 2-1 but Pueblo scored four in the bottom half of the inning to go up 5-2. Yaya Ochoa and Bree Gomez had RBI doubles in the inning.
The Panthers scored again in the top of the sixth but Somoza doubled to lead off the bottom half and Ochoa sacrificed her in. Coconino scored again in the seventh but Pueblo held on for the 6-3 win.
Thomas limited the Panthers to six hits on the day and freshman Brooklyn Wong picked up two of those.
Pueblo will travel to No. 3 Sunrise Mountain on Tuesday, May 2 in the quarterfinal round.