Perry's softball team continued its white-hot play Wednesday, building a 5-1 lead after two innings and posting a 6-2 triumph over Willams Field in the championship game of the annual Marcos de Niza-McClintock Tournament at Marcos de Niza High School.
Perry (17-2) won its 13th consecutive game (6-0 in the tournament) and is ready for a well-deserved, much-needed 10 days off. The Pumas answered a 1-0 deficit in the bottom of the first with three runs and added two more in the second to take control and win the tournament for the second time in three years. Perry finished third in Red Mountain's Lion Country Classic last month and has recorded some key power-point wins to go along with 13 invitational triumphs.
"We got great pitching in the tournament and used three different pitchers," Perry coach Kevin Chapin said. "What's good about this team is it seems to be someone different every game that leads us, not just two or three players. We're off for awhile now. That gives us time to focus on the rest of the schedule (all power-ranking games)."
Jillian Leslie notched the victory in the circle, scattering six hits and striking out nine. She walked five batters, but escaped jams in the first and sixth with strikeouts and in the seventh with a 5-3-2 double play to end the game. Leslie won four games in the tournament and Madi Gloss and Alyssa Barlow won a game each going the distance in their chances.
Offensively, leadoff hitter Laynee Gomez collected three of Perry's eight hits. Gomez scored a run and drove in one. Brittany Hopper and Madison LaFleur contributed and RBI each on sacrifice flies. Perry's other runs scored on wild pitches (two) and an error that contributed heavily to the Pumas three-run, first inning.
Williams Field (9-4 overall), which was 5-0 in its pool play games at McClintock, battled Perry even after the first two innings and that was important for coach Cheri Smith to see.
"Playing a strong team like Perry gave us knowledge and good experience going ahead," Smith said. "They are a powerhouse. That's the kind of game we needed to get ready for games next week in our division (D-II)."
Williams Field got two hits from leadoff hitter Trinity Watts and two hits from cleanup hitter Brittany Heyer. Heyer and Tara O'Dell drove in runs for the Lady Black Hawks.
In consolation games played earlier Wednesday, Marcos de Niza beat North,12-2; Casa Grande knocked off Trevor Browne, 15-1; Dobson over McClintock,17-3; Desert Mountain blanked Combs, 10-0 and in the third-place game Gilbert shut out Poston Butte, 11-0.