Same disappointing ending for Matadors softball
The Arizona Western softball team lost both games of a doubleheader to Mesa in the same way Thursday afternoon.
With the teams tied until the final innings, the Thunderbirds managed to get one more run in as AWC fell 3-2 and 6-5 in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference games.
"We're really frustrated because we couldn't put any hits away at the plate," AWC center fielder Robynn Mendenhall said. "We didn't have good at-bats, we were swinging at bad pitches...Things didn't happen."
Mesa coach Dwight Byron pointed out that both games were close until the end.
"It could've been either team's game. You never know who's going to win the ballgame," he said. "We had a lot of clutch hits that came through."
In the first game, the Thunderbirds (33-14-1 overall, 18-6 ACCAC) took a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning when Lisa Colores' double drove in Shaeya Blanton.
The Matadors (41-16, 20-6) responded by loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but then Natalie Tyler grounded into a double play, with Sonja Johnson thrown out at home and Tyler thrown out at first.
In the second game, AWC rallied from a 5-2 deficit to tie the game, but the Thunderbirds again got the go-ahead run, this time in the final inning when Shaeya Blanton's single to deep center drove in Kristin Hardy. The Matadors couldn't respond in their half of the inning, getting three straight outs.
AWC coach Pam Stone put a majority of the blame on the pitching.
"We didn't pitch well and I said we're only as good as our pitchers," she said. "My team keeps coming back and my pitchers keep giving up runs. You can't win ballgames against good teams if your pitcher can't shut them down."
In the first game, AWC pitcher Stephanie Carrasco had given up just three hits going into the fifth inning, and the Matadors had a 2-0 lead. But then Carrasco gave up singles to the first three batters, hit the fourth one, and then gave up another single for a run.A sacrifice bunt then brought in another Mesa runner to tie the score, setting up Colores' game-winning RBI in the sixth.
The Matadors spent much of the second game playing catchup. Down 5-2, Stephanie Cranmer's single in the third inning drove in one run and then Analisa Angulo, who went 2-for-3 at the plate and finished with four RBIs, had a single in the fourth that brought in another two scores to tie the game.
Neither team scored again until Blanton's game-winning run.
"We didn't score when we had people on; we made too many errors," Stone said, who didn't name anyone when asked if she thought any Matador played well that day. "We win and lose as a team."
Pauline Vu can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6883.