Seniors credited with Pusch Ridge success in 2012 season - The Explorer: Sports

Seniors credited with Pusch Ridge success in 2012 season

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Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 4:00 am

Last year, the Pusch Ridge Lions were so close to a state championship they could taste it. This year, they weren’t about to lose again in the state championship softball game. The Lady Lions took down the Division IV title after defeating sixth-seed St. Johns 3-2 at the Rose Mofford Complex on May 12.

The Lions (19-1) faced their only loss to Desert Christian in their last regular-season game, but answered in bold fashion by outscoring their four state opponents 36-11. For the Lions,’ dominating opponents was a theme all year.

“To try and say this in a humble manner, there were times throughout the year we didn’t have a lot of competition,” said coach Bob Vance. “Sometimes the games were pretty lopsided and it led to complacency, which we tried to avoid.”

Based on numbers alone, it appears the vast majority of the time, the Lions in fact avoided complacency. They shut out seven different opponents during the season and in each of those shut outs, the team outscored its opponents by double digits, while never allowing any opponent to score double-digit runs.

Vance said the team’s success was a combination of talent and leadership from the five seniors, Paige Sheppard, twin sisters Corrie and Rachel Ward, Sarah Majors, and Rachel Ellis.

“They have been great leaders in the way they coached the younger girls,” he said. “They have been working for this for three years, and last year against Benson, we just got beat. This year, we wanted to get back and do it right.”

And they did.

The winning RBI by Kristi Overman was complemented with the spot-on pitching of Corrie Ward, who struck out 11 batters. On the offensive end, Ward hit a two-run double in the bottom of the third inning to give the Lions a one-run advantage leading to the fourth.

 “The plan was just to score,” said Corrie. “I think that score kind of set the other team off, because they were up, and then all of a sudden we were.”

Still, St. Johns answered right back with a single in the fifth to tie the game and eventually send the game to an eighth inning, where Overman’s walk-off single sent in McKayla Rossi for the winning run.

“We went crazy,” said Vance. “It feels great. It was a lot of fun and something new to us.”

Vance was so overjoyed with excitement that he didn’t even mind when he cut his face on Rossi’s helmet while hugging her after the game-winning run.

Corrie said the win has been long awaited.

“It’s about time,” said Corrie. “It’s a good way to leave.”

Along with the five graduating seniors, coach Vance will be pursuing other opportunities next year. Still, the Lions hope to continue carry its overwhelming success into the 2013 season.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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