Oree Foster
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

3A North Regional baseball, softball tournament begins in Tuba City

April 17, 2019 by Oree Foster, AZPreps365

Four games are on tap when the 3A North Regional baseball and softball tournament commences today in the first round at Tuba City High School.


The regional tournament begins today with two games with the lower seeds.

Number three Window Rock (10-14 overall, 7-3 region) faces number six Tuba City (7-14 overall, 2-8 region) at 2 p.m. At 4 p.m., number four Ganado (6-8 overall, 2-6 region) meets number five Monument Valley (6-16-1 overall, 2-8 region).

The survivor of the Ganado-Monument Valley game faces number one Chinle (17-7 overall, 9-1 region) at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Window Rock-Tuba City winner meets number two Page (10-13 overall, 6-2 region) at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The regional tournament championship is set for Saturday at 4 p.m.

The 3A North is the lone region hosting a tournament. Statewide power rankings will be utilized to seed schoolss. The top 24 schools in the statewide power rankings will be invited to participate in post season play.

Schools finishing in the top eight positions in the statewide power rankings will begin play when the state tournament begins. Schools finishing ninth through 24 in the statewide power rankings will participate in the Conference Play-In Tournament. Winners from the Conference Play-In Tournament will be placed in the state tournament bracket.

The baseball Conference Play-In Tournament is scheduled for April 30. Winners will be placed in the state tournament bracket, scheduled for Surprise Stadium in northwest Phoenix. First round is set for May 3, followed by the state quarterfinals on May 4. The state semifinals is scheduled for May 11. The state championship is set for May 13 at HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa, Arizona.

Chinle Wildcats

The Chinle Wildcats captured the 3A North Region outright with a 9-1 record. The Wildcats are 17-7 overall and ranked number 17 in the statewide power rankings. Chinle is the lone 3A North Region baseball team ranked in the top 24.

For capturing the regular season region title, Chinle earned a first round bye. The Wildcats will play its first game on Saturday at 11 a.m., facing the winner of today's Ganado-Monument Valley game.

Chinle head coach Don Kimbrough said the key to the Wildcats' success this year is off-season training, fundamental practice and scheduling of key regular season games by Chinle Athletic Director Shaun Martin.

Another key factor for Chinle is Kimbrough has been switching pitchers on a rotation basis.

"Seldom do we ride a pitcher for a complete game," Kimbrough said. "Our batting has been relatively good. We have the top three batters in 3A North Region. However, like most teams, we have our good days and bad days at the plate."

Kimbrough said the Wildcats' defense has been good throughout the season.

"Again, we've had our moments mainly with injuries," Kimbrough said. "Our lineup changes when we have injuries and this affects our fielding. Generally speaking, we have a tough defense."

Kimbrough noted that for the Wildcats to advance in the regional tournament bracket. Kimbrough said consistent hitting, fielding and pitching are keys.

Page Sand Devils

Page Sand Devils claimed runner-up in the 3A North Region standings with a 6-2 mark. The Sand Devils are 10-13 overall and are ranked number 29 in the statewide power rankings.

Region number two seed Page, has a first round bye. The Sand Devils face the survivor of today's Window Rock-Tuba City ball game on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Page head coach Chuck Sharp said a key to the Sand Devils' success is the players have been tight knit.

"The kids have always kept a positive attitude throughout the season and the kids keep striving to better themselves," Sharp said. "We have been a tight knit ball club all season."

Sharp said the Sand Devils' offensive attack is strong.

"We are batting at .326 average as a team right now," Sharp said. "We continue to improve as a team more games we play. I have been very satisfied up to this point with our hitting."

Sharp said the Sand Devils have a deep bullpen and that is a key in containing the opponents' bats.

"We have had a total of six pitchers that can take the mound at anytime," Sharp stated. "We have not had a pitcher complete a full game at this point."

Sharp said the Sand Devils' defense has been spotty. Sharp said at times the Sand Devils play strong defense and at times lack consistency on the field.

Sharp said the Sand Devils played every team in the 3A North Region twice this season, with the exception of Ganado Hornets. Sharp said the doubleheader with Ganado were cancelled.

"We are going to have a tough road to the regional tournament championship," Sharp said. "We are going to have to play good defense and our pitching will play a big factor."


The softball regional tournament begins today. number three Chinle (9-13 overall, 6-4 region) takes on number six Tuba City (7-16 overall, 1-9 region) at 2 p.m. The winner moves on to face number two Page (16-6 overall, 9-1 region) on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Number four Ganado (10-9 overall, 4-6 region) meets number five Monument Valley (9-11 overall, 1-9 region) at 4 p.m. today. The Ganado-Monument Valley winner takes on number one Window Rock (22-6 overall, 9-1 region) on Saturday at 11 a.m.

The regional tournament championship is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The softball Conference Play-In Tournament is scheduled for April 24 with schools finishing 9th through 24th in the statewide power rankings. Winners from the Conference Play-In Tournament advance to the state tournament at Rose Mofford Complex. The state tournament first round is May 3, followed by the state quarterfinals on May 4. The state tournament semifinals is set for May 11. The state championship will be played on May 13 at Farrington Softball Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe.

Window Rock Lady Scouts

"For our overall success this year, we came together early to achieve our set goals as a team," Window Rock head coach Cynthia Smiley said. "We established a core group of ladies to carry each other through the season. We all have set a personal and team goal. Together we will succeed."

A key factor for the Lady Scouts is pitching. Junior Rachael Smiley and freshman Alexis Tsosie-Hood have provided the punch in the pitching circle.

"Overall this year, we have two outstanding pitchers that can complete their games as needed," Smiley said. "We have used them both all season and together they had success. They will continue to work hard with their team."

Smiley noted that on different occasions the Lady Scouts have struggled at the plate. Smiley said the team has worked hard every day to become a hitting team.

"We have ladies on the team that help their teammates become better," Smiley said. "We take each game one at a time and work hard at practice."

Smiley said the Lady Scouts' defense has been strong this year. Smiley said the Lady Scouts overcome fielding errors by working as a team to get the job done.

"Our team will have to stay focused and be game ready," Smiley said. "Our communication, team work and determination will have a great impax for our team."

In two large tournaments this season, Window Rock finished with an undefeated 6-0 record to win the championship at the Kingman Tournament. The Lady Scouts garnered fifth place among 16 teams at the Chandler Prep Tournament with a 3-1 mark.

Page Lady Sand Devils

Page head coach Sunni Crank said the Lady Sand Devils' hard work throughout the season has been a key to the team's success.

Crank credits her team's pitching for their success on the field.

"Our pitching has been good and consistent," Crank said. "As with any season, our batting continues to get stronger each game into our season and post season. Yes, we are hitting the ball hard. Our defense has struggled at the beginning. As the season progresses, we get stronger as well."