Softball anyone? Red Mountain rebounds from opening day loss

February 24, 2011 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Defending 5A-I softball champion Red Mountain had a game to forget opening defense of its title on Wednesday in its annual tournament.

So when the Mountain Lions got the chance to redeem themselves Thursday, they did so with a little assistance from Mesquite.

Red Mountain scored in every inning but the sixth, banged out nine hits and took advantage of seven errors by Mesquite for an 11-5 victory over the visiting Wildcats on the second day of the Lion Country Softball Classic at Red Mountain High.

"We did not play Red Mountain softball (Wednesday)," Red Mountain coach Rich Hamilton said, lamenting six errors and 13 runners left on base in a 5-3 loss to Perry. "Today we played defense, pitched well. So much better."

With only one error instead of six and half as many runners left on base, Red Mountain looked more champion-like.  It was a nice way to help freshman Breanna Macha, who was making her varsity debut.

Macha pitched a complete game for Red Mountain. She pitched out of  a first-inning jam, scattered eight hits and retired the last seven batters she faced. She struck out four and issued only one walk.

Offensively, the first three hitters in Red Mountain's lineup -- Haley Culley, Sara Goodrum and Courtney Sherwin -  were a combined 7-for-11 with six runs scored and four RBI. Culley led the way going 4-for-4 in the leadoff spot.

Mesquite managed to collect eight hits and used a three-run fifth to cut a 7-2 deficit to 7-5. Jenna Huerta's two-run double pulled Mesquite within two. But  Macha's teammates pushed across four runs in the bottom of the fifth, providing her clear sailing the rest of the way.

"Miscues, a lot of them today didn't help us," Mesquite coach Jeff Shufelt said. "We gave them too many outs. We battled back to make it a game, then more errors got the best of us."

Mesquite dropped to 2-1 in pool play witht the loss. The Wildcats won a pair of games Wednesday over Boulder Creek and Mountain Pointe. The pitching, hitting and defense of that day were on hiatus.

The tournament continutes Friday with more pool play games at Red Mountain and Skyline high schools, beginning at 4 p.m. and ending with 8 p.m. contests. The 16-team field will be divided into an 8-team championship bracket and an 8-team consolation bracket for play on Saturday. Red Mountain and Skyline will host championship bracket games and Red Mountain Park will be the site of consolation bracket games. The tournament championship game is set for 3 p.m. on Saturday at Red Mountain.