Hamilton's Abby Andersen subbed in from right field to pitch in the third inining Tuesday and that switch began turning the tide for the hosts in a 6A elite eight softball contest.
Andersen worked four shutout innings and Hamilton's offense came to life over that span in a six-inning 11-1 win over Horizon at Hamilton High.
No. 7 Hamilton, the defending big-school champion, moves on to the winner's bracket semis to face No. 3 Tucson High, a 7-5 winner over No. 6 Desert Ridge. That game is set for Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Rose Mofford Sports Complex. No. 15 Horizon also plays Thursday in an elimination game against Desert Ridge at 5:30 at Rose Mofford.
Horizon, which upset No. 2 seed Sandra Day O'Connor on Saturday, put pressure on Hamilton the first three innings, collecting seven hits. Horizon, however, could only score once and left six runners on base. When Andersen entered the game was tied at 1.
Five of the seven hits were off Hamilton starter Madison Seigworth, who gave the ball to Andersen to begin the third. Andersen allowed three hits and no walks. Hamilton's offense in the meantime cranked out 11 hits from the third through the sixth. The game ended via the 10-run rule thanks to Lorena Vasquez-Inzunza's RBI single capping a three-run sixth.
Hamilton leadoff hitter Bella Loomis hit a three-run homer and double and scored twice. Her home run off the centerfield scoreboard, highlighted a four-run fourth. Taylor Gindlesperger chipped in with three hits and Nikki Gonzales and Macy Simmons two apiece.
Losing pitcher Morgan Leinstock and Katy Woods had two hits each for Horizon.
TUCSON 7, DESERT RIDGE 5; The Badgers scored all their runs in the third and fourth innings to erase a 2-0 deficit and held off a rally in the seventh to edge the Jaguars at Tucson High.
Tucson's Carlie Scupin went 3-for-3 with home run and two RBI adn teammate Analeisa Bejarano added a hit and two RBI. Holly Monson had a pair of hits and drove in four runs for Desert Ridge.
PINNACLE 3, DESERT VISTA 1: The top-seeded Pioneers again rode strong pitching -- a three-hitter by Marissa Schuld -- to top the No. 8 Thunder at Piinnacle.
Pinnacle scored twice in the first inning giving Schuld all the runs she'd need. Taylor Fawcett and Schuld drove in the rusn with singles. Nicole Amodio doubled in the final Pinnacle run in the fourth after Desert Vista pulled within 2-1 on Kiara Kennedy's RBI single.
Schuld walked one and struck out 13 in going the distance. Pinnacle faces Perry on Thursday at 7:30 in a winner's bracket game at Rose Mofford. Cibola and Desert Vista meet Thursday at 5:30 in an elimination game at Rose Mofford.
PERRY 14, CIBOLA 1: The No. 5 Pumas reversed a 4-1 loss 10 days ago to Cibola by bombing the No. 4 Raiders in five innings behind the five-hit pitching of Saige Stutz at Cibola.
Every starter for Perry but one had a hit. Chole Krason led with with three hits and Piper Lujan, Chandler Walter, Brytnie Carrasco, Jordyn Spencer and Sydnee Smith with two hits each. Katie Fernandez came off the bench in the fifth inning and homered in her lone at bat.. Perry totales 18 hits.
CANYON DEL ORO 6, GREENWAY 1: The top-seed Dorados got strong pitching and a trio of two-run rallies to eliminate the No. 8 Demons at Canyon del Oro.
Ari Acedo led the offense for CDO with three hits. Anya Gonzalez ad Ilena Santos knocked in two runs apiece. Santos homered for her two RBI. Halle Morris and Amya Legarra teammed up to limit Greenway to five hits. CDO takes on Salpointe on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium.
SALPOINTE 10, APACHE JUNCTION: 5: Erika Marquez blasted three home runs and drove in four runs to lead the No. 5 Lancers past the No. 4 Prospectors at Apache Junction.
Malaea Rocha was 4-for-4 at the plate and knocked in two runs to complement Marquez's power display.
CACTUS 6, CACTUS SHADOWS 1: The second-seeded Cobras scored four runs in the fifth inning to break open a tight game and defeat the visiting No. 10 Falcons.
Jade Osterhoudt had a pair of doubles and drove in three runs for Cactus. Emilie Guerra got the complete game in the circle, scattering eight hits. Cactus takes on Sunrise Mountain in the semifinals on Thursday at 5:30 at Rose Mofford.
SUNRISE MOUNTAIN, 5, PUEBLO 2: Cheylie Greenwood, Hanna Krosky and Pilar Gutierrez each drove in a run in a three-run rally in the fourth inning that guided the No. 3 Mustangs to a victory over the No. 6 Warriors at Sunrise Mountain.
Krosky earned the win with a solid complete game. She allowed seven hits, no walks and struck out five.