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State softball: Red Mountain wins third straight Arizona Division I titleMay 17, 2012
It had to come down to Red Mountain (Mesa) and Basha (Chandler) or it just wouldn't be an Arizona big-school state title softball game.
For the third time in four years, the teams met for the Arizona state title on Monday as No. 2 Red Mountain won for the third straight year, beating No. 1 Basha 5-2 at Arizona State's Farmington Stadium.
The Lions (35-3) are the first Class 5A-sized school to win three consecutive state championships in Arizona high school softball history. Before Red Mountain started its recent tear, Basha (33-6) won titles in 2008 and 2009.
In this encounter, Red Mountain sophomore catcher Jordan Beck went deep in the first inning for a three-run home run for a 4-0 lead. It was enough for Red Mountain pitcher Breana Macha, who was on the mound for all three state title games.
"I went out there loose, no nerves," she said. "Pitching in the game last year helped. Getting those runs early was big. It is for any pitcher."
It was a title well-earned by the Lions.
"With a new playoff system, alignment, new divisions, I think (the format) proves a true state champion," Red Mountain coach Richard Hamilton said. "The kids do everything we ask and this is the reward."
Canyon del Oro (Tucson) 11, Sunrise Mountain (Peoria) 9
No. 2 CDO's Kayla Bonstrom went from one extreme to another against No. 1 Sunrise Mountain.
After giving up a four-run lead on the mound late in the game, she got some redemption by smacking a two-run blast of her own to give CDO its second straight state title and seventh overall.
"I just wanted to help my team," she told the Arizona Republic. "In the game of softball, you can't dwell on things."
Bourgade Catholic (Phoenix) 7, Winslow 3
Fifth-seeded Bourgade Catholic road the arm – and leadership - of Jackie Aguilar to the title over No. 3 Winslow, which played in its fourth straight title game Saturday at the Rose Mofford Complex.
Aguilar struck out 12 in helping Bourgade to its first state softball championship. On the other side, Winslow has just one win (2010) in those four state title game appearances.
Pusch Ridge Christian Academy (Tucson) 3, St. Johns 2, 8 innings
Kristi Overman's RBI single to right field scored the winning run as No. 1 Pusch Ridge won its first state title after two previous defeats, including last season, on Saturday at the Rose Mofford Complex.
"A year ago, all the girls were standing around and crying," said Pusch Ridge coach Bob Vance after the win against the No. 6 Redskins. "This is a lot better."
Jason P. Skoda, a former Arizona Republic and current Ahwatukee Foothills News staff writer, is a 15-year sports writing veteran. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-272-2449.