Sometimes an opposing pitcher can keep your softball team a little off-balance. Sometimes your own pitchers aren’t as consistent as you would like them to be.
You still have to try to find a way to win.
That is what Phoenix Xavier Prep did, scoring just enough runs and using defense and relief pitching that was effective enough for a 3-2 victory over host Scottsdale Desert Mountain on Friday (March 28).
Xavier (10-5-1) scratched out a pair of runs in the first inning, added another in the third and fought off comeback attempts by Desert Mountain (10-10) in the final three innings.
Desert Mountain scored a run in the fifth but stranded two baserunners, scored another run in the sixth but left the bases full, and got a hit in the seventh but left the tying run at second.
“The last five or so times we came over here, they (Desert Mountain) kind of had our number and won, but we were able to hang onto this one,’’ said Xavier coach Bobby Pena.
“We have been hitting much better than we showed today, but their pitcher (Maisie Mortimer) was hitting her spots and kept us a little off-balance.
“We also played good defense, It is keeping us in games right now.’’
Freshman Lilly Giller pitched the first five innings for Xavier. Pena went to Emily Richards for two batters in the sixth, then brought in Caitlin Dickman, who went the rest of the way.
Dickman gave up a walk and an infield hit in the final 1 2/3 innings.
Samantha Syndenham and Karlee Johnson drove in runs in the first inning for Xavier. Giller drove in the team’s third run with a single in the third.
Catcher Jana Frohle had a pair of doubles for Desert Mountain, and second baseman Bridget Jones came up with a pair of nifty double plays by fielding a grounder, tagging the runner trying to reach second and throwing to first for the second out.
Xavier returns to action on Tuesday (April 1) on the road at Mesa Mountain View, while Desert Mountain hits the road for a contest against Phoenix Desert Vista in Ahwatukee.