Sandra Day O’Connor, When Vail Cienega pitcher Celina Martinez found out her team would be up to bat first, she said the focus was on striking first.
“Just score and keep on scoring,” she said.
A 2-RBI single from Sarah Andrews helped jump-start Cienega’s offense who put up five early runs in the first inning and went on to capture a 10-3 victory over Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor in the consolation bracket championship game Saturday at the Mohave Tournament of Champions at Mohave High School.
“It definitely was a cushion and it definitely helps,” Martinez said of the early lead.
Martinez saw 31 batters and allowed 2 runs and six hits while walking three. She said big tournaments don’t really shake her up in the circle.
“I’ve got a good defense out there,” she said. “I’m confident in them.”
O’Connor would answer with a RBI homerun by Jessica Rodriguez in the bottom of the first to cut the lead to three, but a sloppy defensive effort in the seventh would allow Cienega to score four unearned runs and bring the score to 10-3 to end the game on the run rule.
“I don’t know if going into it, if we were super ready,” O’Connor Coach Melissa Hobson said. “You have to be ready for every game. It shows that we’re young and we need to do a better job mentally preparing.”
O’Connor tried three different pitchers against Cienega, but couldn’t seem to throw its offense off-balance.
Depth at the plate, Cienega Coach Eric Tathum said, is the Bobcats’ strong suite this year
“In years past we’ve had a solid nine, ten, eleven,” he said. “This year we’ve got one through eighteen pretty solid players and we’re confident in any one of their bats at any moment.”