Lions finish with semi-final loss to state champs - The Explorer: Sports

Lions finish with semi-final loss to state champs

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Posted: Monday, May 17, 2010 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:17 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

When the youthful Pusch Ridge Christian Lions softball team made the semi-finals in 2A-play, they had reached a level that couldn't have been expected at season's start.

The team had no seniors, and the only juniors were Nikki Hammond, Cori Messer-Meyers, Mariela Ramirez, and Kaycee Thompson. The team still went 13-5 and were only one game away from the state championship game.

So when the Lions went down to eventual state champion Willcox, 9-1, the final results couldn't have been too disappointing.

"Willcox was a much more experienced team," said coach Bob Vance. "We out-hit them, but had more errors and walked more batters — on a team with no seniors." He added, "We feel really good about being back next year."

Even in the loss, Thompson had three hits, as she batted 8-13 in the tournament. Sophomore Corey Ward emerged as a pitching star in the playoffs, as she pitched a shutout against Chandler Valley Christian in the first-round, with seven strikeouts.

"It was really a good team effort," Vance said.

Earlier in the season, after a 6-3 start, Vance said he expected to go deep into the playoffs.

The offense was impressive as Pusch Ridge averaged 11 runs per game. In their second playoff game, the offense exploded in a 16-11 win over San Manuel, which marked the sixth time this year that the Lions scored 16 or more runs in a game.

The team's four best hitters were the first four batters in the lineup, Rachel Majors, Sarah Majors, Rachel Ward and Thompson. All four will return next season.

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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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