With local players, AZ Cats' 94 gets 2 U.S. wins - The Explorer: Sports

With local players, AZ Cats' 94 gets 2 U.S. wins

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Posted: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:34 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

An Arizona all-star softball team with talent from the Northwest has won its first two games in pool play at the American Softball Association 14-and-under national championships in Marietta, Ga.

The AZ Cats '94 softball club defeated the Mize Diamonds from San Jose, Calif., 10-0 in six innings Monday night. Earlier, the Cats beat Diamond Thunder from North Carolina 2-0.

In the San Jose win, Ashley Palmer pitched the complete game shutout and also hit a triple. Canyon del Oro athlete Kayla Bonstrom was 4-4 at the plate with an RBI. Jess Guffey had two hits and four RBIs, three on a double with the bases loaded. Ironwood Ridge's Sarah Rodriguez contributed two RBIs as well.

Bonstrom threw the complete game shut-out against the North Carolina squad. She was 2-4 at the plate with a run scored. Abby Spiel was 3-3 with a double and run, and Rodriguez knocked in three runs with two hits, including a triple.

Tuesday was an off day. The team and head coach Phil Fileccia were scheduled to tour the University of Georgia in Athens before a workout. All 122 teams in the tournament are being re-seeded for a double-elimination bracket that opens Wednesday.

It's been a whirlwind campaign for the Cats, who were second in the National Hall of Fame Tournament in Oklahoma City, and were co-champions of the 58-team, 16-and-under Surf City Classic in Huntington Beach, Calif.

"This season could not have been scripted any better," Fileccia said. "We played each tournament to progress slowly and build on our mistakes. Our motto continues to be: every pitch of every play of every inning of every game."

For the five weeks ahead of the Georgia tournament, the AZ Cats '94 club has been conditioning four days a week, then practicing for three hours four days a week.

"There is no quit in these athletes and they refuse to stop short of anything except winning a

national championship," Fileccia said.

The team's roster draws from across the state, but counts on a heavy local contingent, including Bonstrom, Rodriguez, Ironwood Ridge sophomores Lauren Robinson and Jordan Rocker, Mountain View freshman Ashley Rivera, and the youngest player on the team, Cross Middle School eighth-grader Sammy Nettling.

"Our season has already been a success no matter what happens out here," said Fileccia. "Fourteen young ladies have become better friends and each of them would do anything for one another.

"They have become better conditioned athletes, they have become better softball players," he added.

"Most of all, they have more love in their hearts now than when we started four months ago."

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

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

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

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

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

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

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

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