Oree Foster
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

Softball: Chinle posts 12-2 victory over St. Michael Lady Cardinals

March 16, 2019 by Oree Foster, AZPreps365

Chinle junior righthand pitcher Danielle Ayze threw a five-hitter and fanned five batters, as the Lady Wildcats posted a 12-2 victory over the St. Michael Lady Cardinals in a five inning contest on Saturday afternoon in Chinle.

Due to 10-run rule, the game ended in five innings. Earlier this season, St. Michael defeated Chinle, 11-6, in the Joseph City tournament.

Chinle head coach Nadia Natay said Ayze pitched a solid game.

"Dan (Ayze) pitched a good game," Natay said. "She had good command of her pitches. She played second base last year. Our defense backed her up. Our defense did not commit any errors. The team was totally different than when we lost to St. Michael during the Joseph City tournament earlier this season. The girls have improved and we're looking to improve as the season progresses."

Chinle improved to 2-3. The Lady Wildcats face the Snowflake Lady Lobos on Tuesday in Snowflake for a freedom game.

St. Michael is 5-2. The Lady Cardinals face Antelope-Wellton in its opener in the Chandler Prep Tournament on Friday.

St. Michael head coach Karen Tom said Lady Cardinals starting southpaw pitcher Gabriella Simpson could not shake tightness in her forearm.

"Our ace pitcher (Gabriella Simpson) had cramps in her forearm," Tom said. "I brought in two other pitchers. We could not contain Chinle's batters."

With two outs in the first inning, Chinle hurler Ayze issued a base-on-balls to Gabriella Simpson. Paige Gonnie entered the game as a courtesy runner for Simpson. St. Michael cleanup batter Sunshine Burnside cracked a run-scoring double into the leftfield power alley, scoring Gonnie.

Chinle got out of the inning, when Ayze struckout Natalia Goldtooth to end the Lady Cardinals' threat to score.

The Lady Wildcats roughed up St. Michael pitcher Simpson in the first inning. Chinle leadoff batter Ayze lined a single into leftfield. Charmayne Yazzie cracked a triple, driving in Ayze. Kalea Tabaha followed with a single. Lainy Burke walked. Tristin Natay delivered a two-run single, scoring Tabaha and Burke for a 4-1 lead. Simpson fanned two of the next three batters she faced.

St. Michael scored a run in the top half of the second inning. Kylea Monroe lined a single into right centerfield power alley. Monroe scored the Lady Cardinals' second run.

Ayze held St. Michael in check for the remaining of the game.

Chinle's Ayze hit an one out two-bagger in the second inning. Charmayne Yazzie recorded a RBI triple. Yazzie crossed the plate on Kalea Tabaha's fielder choice. Lainy Burke cracked a single into right centerfield. Burke scored on a pass ball, as the Lady Wildcats extended its lead to 7-2.

Chinle added five runs in the bottom half of third inning. Maya Ross was summoned to pitch for St. Michael, relieving Simpson. After throwing to three batters, Maya Ross was involved in a collision at home plate and was removed from the game, due to an injury. Relief pitcher Jenna Ross threw to three batters and was relieved by Simpson. Simpson completed the inning.

Chinle had seven hits for the game. Topping the Lady Wildcats at the plate were Danielle Ayze and Charmayne Yazzie with two hits apiece. Kalea Tabaha, Lainy Burke and Carrington Jones all had one hit each.