That No. 2-ranked Yavapai College softball team welcomed the Chandler-Gilbert Community College Coyotes to Bill Valley Field on Saturday afternoon and left the ballpark with a sweep, winning 11-3 in game one and 9-0 in game two. The pair victories pushed the Roughriders’ win streak to 17, overall record to 37-2 and conference record to 29-1.
On a windy day at the ballpark, sophomore pitcher Emily Dix started inside the circle in game one and was her dominant self. Dix tossed five innings and allowed three runs (none of which were earned), allowed just four hits and struck out 10 Coyotes.
Offensively, freshman shortstop Lovey Kepa’a drove in the first six runs of the game as she launched a three-run homer in the first and third innings of the ballgame.
In the bottom of the fourth, sophomore outfielder Mia Weckel drove in a run with a single and came around to score on a two-run homer off the bat of fellow sophomore outfielder Kayla Rodgers.
Up 9-0, Chandler-Gilbert temporarily avoided the run rule in the top of the fifth with a three-run homer of its own to cut the deficit to 9-3.
In the bottom of the fifth, however, freshman infielder Makena Riggs drove in a run with an RBI groundout and freshman outfielder Sierra Griego hit an RBI single that served as the walk-off winner in the 11-3 run-rule victory.
At the plate, Rodgers tallied three hits while Kepa’a, Greigo and freshman catcher Jasmine Moreno all had two. Weckel, freshman infielder Yaya Kaaialii and freshman catcher Ashley Fields each had one hit.
Freshman pitcher Emily Darwin got the start inside the circle in game two and was lights out as well. Darwin threw five scoreless innings and allowed just one hit while striking out eight Coyotes.
Offensively, the Roughriders got off to a quick start as Weckel led the ballgame off with a homer to straight-away centerfield. Later in the frame, Moreno brought home a run with a sacrifice fly to push the lead to 2-0.
The rest of the damage came in the bottom of the second as Weckel drove a run in with a single, Rodgers hit a three-run home run, Kepa’a tallied a sacrifice fly and sophomore infielder Cheyenne Sandoval demolished a long two-run home run to left field to balloon the Yavapai lead (and eventual final score) to 9-0.
At the plate, Weckel and Rodgers each had two hits while Kaaialii, Sandoval, Riggs and sophomore utility woman Alyssa Rosales each had one.
Next up for the Roughriders is the South Mountain Community College Cougars. The teams match up on Tuesday, April 12, at Bill Vallely Field in Prescott, Arizona, with game one’s first pitch set for noon.
– D.J. Irwin