Vaqueras sweep doubleheader against Eastern Arizona
SIGNAL PEAK — Another deluge of runs carried the Central Arizona College softball team to its second consecutive Arizona Community College Athletic Conference doubleheader sweep on Tuesday.
The Vaqueras overpowered No. 15 Eastern Arizona 9-2 and 18-10 in their home opener, overcoming an 8-2 deficit in Game 2 to run-rule the Gila Monsters. Central opened conference play last week with 20-4 and 22-1 run-rule wins at Chandler-Gilbert.
"We've been extremely aggressive the last two series, and it's paid off," CAC coach Shelby Davis said. "Our approach is to find one pitch you can hit as hard as you can. If you strike out, so be it. But we keep telling them (to) don't get cheated."
The Vaqueras (7-2, 4-0 ACCAC) had 10 hits in Tuesday's opener and 13 in the second game. Lindsey Smith smashed four of Central's seven extra-base hits, getting a home run and three doubles in the twinbill. Smith went 3 for 3 with two RBIs in Game 1 and 3 for 4 with three RBIs in Game 2.
Devin Halley pitched a four-hitter in the opener, striking out three and walking two. Both of Eastern's runs were unearned.
"Devin hit her spots and threw lights out," Davis said.
The Gila Monsters (4-5, 1-3 ACCAC) took an 8-2 lead in Game 2 with three runs in the first inning and five in the second. The Vaqueras sent 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the second, scoring nine runs to go up 11-8.
After Eastern trimmed the deficit to 11-10 on a two-run homer by Emma Kawaiaea in the third, Central put the game away with three runs in the fourth and two in the fifth. A catcher's obstruction call sent pinch runner Serina Estrada home with the final run.
"That was a character-builder," Davis said. "We don't want to get ourselves in that kind of a predicament very often, obviously, because the chances of coming out of it aren't very good. But we just kept swinging the bats."
Kyrstan Garcia retired six of the final seven batters after being tagged for 12 hits in the first three innings.
"Once Kyrstan saw that we were still hitting and in the game, she settled down," Davis said.
Smith's three-run homer put the Vaqueras ahead to stay at 10-8 in Game 2. The big second inning also included Brianna Moeller's two-run single, a bases-loaded walk to former Vista Grande High School standout Annalisa Cordova and an RBI grounder by Ashleigh Winters.
The other two runs scored on a passed ball and a wild pitch. Central took full advantage of four walks, a hit batter and two errors that led to six unearned runs.
Danielle Wheeler, another former Vista Grande star, provided a two-run double with two outs in the fifth that extended CAC's lead to 17-10.
Brittany Holland, Winters and Garcia each had an RBI single for Central, and Felecia Medina had a run-scoring groundout.
Garcia went 3 for 4, and the Vaqueras got two hits apiece from Moeller and Holland.
Victoria Brito drove in four runs for the Gila Monsters, three with a first-inning double. She also had an RBI single in the second.
Kawaiaea had an RBI double in the second, and Czarina Lorta drove in two runs with a second-inning single.
After notching just two hits off Isabelle Mejia through four innings in Game 1, the Vaqueras had five in a seven-run fifth inning that snapped a 0-0 tie. They sent 11 batters to the plate..
Smith led off with a double and came around on Jessenia Miranda's single. Wheeler's RBI single made it 3-0, and CAC extended the lead on two-run singles by Holland and Smith. Wheeler went 2 for 3.
Withers had an RBI single in a two-run sixth.
Former Casa Grande Union standout Hannah Norris played an error-free second base in each game for the Vaqueras and scored as a pinch runner in the fourth inning of Game 2.