AWC baseball, softball previews
GateWay at Arizona Western
Time: Noon today, Kammann Field, Yuma
Last game: The Matadors split a doubleheader in Thatcher against Eastern Arizona, winning 2-1 then losing 4-3; The Geckos beat Chandler-Gilbert 11-10
Records: AWC (10-7 overall, 2-2 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference); GateWay (10-3 overall, 4-0 ACCAC)
Players to watch: Travis Garcia-Perreira has established himself as the Matadors' ace. He's 3-0 with a 0.35 ERA. ... Aaron Siple has been an effective leadoff hitter for the Geckos, leading the team with a .318 batting average, 15 runs and 11 steals.
The lowdown: The Matadors are 8-6 all time against the Geckos, including 5-3 in Yuma. ... The Matadors have split their first two conference doubleheaders this year. ... Both team are pitching-dominated, with the Matadors having a team ERA of 2.54, GateWay 3.43. The Geckos are hitting .14 lower the Matadors' .251 mark.
Arizona Western at South Mountain
Time: Noon today, Phoenix
Last game: The Matadors split with Glendale, winning 6-2 then losing 8-5; The Cougars were swept at Eastern Arizona, 4-1 and 11-3
Records: AWC (16-8 overall, 8-4 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference); South Mountain (4-13 overall, 3-9 ACCAC)
Players to watch: Courtnie Ploesch leads the Matadors with 30 hits and 24 runs. She also has eight steals, 18 RBIs and two home runs. ... Cassie Martinez was second on SMCC in wins last year and is back this year as the ace.
The lowdown: The Matadors are in desperate need of a sweep after letting a couple get away against beatable teams in the last week. They won the first games against Mesa and Glendale but failed to finish off the nightcap. ... South Mountain won the last three in the series but has struggled after its coach was dismissed in the fall.
— Edward Carifio