Vista Grande didn't begin the Marcos de Niza-McClintock Invitational last Saturday at Marcos de Niza High with the look of a team gunning for the tourney's championship. Four games after an opening 10-3 loss, the Spartans look invincible.
A six-run, first-inning Tuesday morning continued a sizzling pace as Vista Grande pummelled Perry, 13-2, to earn a berth in the title game at Marcos de Niza High.
After dropping a 10-3 decsion to Dobson, Vista Grande took the next four games by a combined score of 45-5. Vista Grande pushed its season record to 8-2 and faces McClintock Pool winner Skyline on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Marcos de Niza. Vista Grande roughed up three Perry pitchers for 13 hits. Throw in a charitable six errors by Perry (7-5) and the game was decided quickly.
Leading the way for Vista Grande was catcher Jazmyn Ortega. Ortega knocked in eight runs with a three-run homer, three-run double, single and sacrifice fly. Leadoff hitter Annalisa Cordova (three runs scored) and Jordon Keeton were table-setters. Keeton was 4-for-4 with four runs scored. Alyssa Valdez also enjoyed a mult-hit game with a triple and single.
Vista Grande's offense made it easy for pitcher Kristen Stalter to work. Stalter tossed a one-hitter, a pop-up that Stalter dove for and couldn't catch just inside the firts-base line in the fourth inning off the bat of Jordan Spencer. Stalter fanned one and walked two in her five innings of toil.
Skyline, 5-0 in pool play), clinched a berth in Wednesday's title game on Monday with two wins at McClintock High. Skyline capped pool play with a 5-4 win over Westview to run its winning streak to 10 games. Skyline is 11-2 under first-year coach Annie Lockwood.
The rest of the final-day matchups Wednesday (March 12) are all at Marcos de Niza HS. At 10 a.m. the No. 6 seeds meet (Poston Butte-McClintock) and the No. 5 seeds (Cesar Chavez-Mesquite). At noon the No. 4 seeds (Marcos de Niza-Casa Grande) and No. 3 seeds (Perry-Westview). The 2 p.m. games wrap things up with No. 2 seeds (Dobson-Williams Field) and top-seeds (Skyline-Vista Grande) squaring off.