By Sam Conner
The Winslow Lady Bulldogs defeated the Coolidge Lady Bears 7-2 and the Mingus Lady Marauders 4-1 on Saturday in the Arizona State Division III Softball Championship Tournament. Those wins earned the Bulldogs a berth in a semifinal game on Friday, May 10, at the Rose Mofford Complex in Phoenix. Winslow will play the Payson Lady Longhorns, a 7-3 winner over River Valley on Saturday. The wins improved Winslow’s record to 25-3 for Coach Kelly Fifelski’s first season as their mentor.
The Lady Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning against Mingus on a walk and two-out singles by Taylor Baca and Renee Bollin.
Mingus tied the score in the top of the second inning on three walks and a wild pitch. The Marauders left the bases loaded for the second straight inning.
The Bulldogs regained the lead in the bottom of the third on a triple by Halle Hayes, a single by Jaleisa Hayes, a hit batsman and a Mingus error, which led to three runs and a 4-1 lead.
Mingus cut the lead to 4-2 in the top of the sixth inning with an unearned run on a single by Bailey Mabery and a dropped fly that allowed her to score.
Halle Hayes started on the mound, but left the game after working 22/3 innings. She gave up a run on three hits, but was plagued by wildness, allowing four walks and striking out two. Richelyn Villanueva got the win, giving up only an unearned run on four hits and two walks while fanning five batters in 41/3 innings of work.
Halle Hayes led the Bulldogs at the plate with a three for four day including a triple. Jamie Bollin was two for three. Jaleisa Hayes was two for four. Baca and Hailee Branson were one for three.
Winslow started the scoring in Friday’s game against Coolidge by plating four runs in the bottom of the first inning after two outs. Renee Bollin cracked a home run as the third Bulldog at the plate to make it 1-0 Winslow. Baca doubled and Jamie Bollin walked. Both scored on a double by Megan Lymer, who stole third and scored on a wild pitch for a 4-0 Winslow lead.
Coolidge cut the lead to 4-1 on a single by Sara Garcia, who went to second on a wild pitch, to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by Sammie Ortiz.
The Bulldogs scored three times in the bottom of the fifth inning to increase the lead to 7-1. Halle Hayes singled and Jaleisa Hayes reached on an error. Both scored on a double by Renee Bollin, who scored on a single by Lymer.
Coolidge scored in the top of seventh on a walk, a double by Ortiz and a single by Mariah Cavazos, but the game ended as a 7-2 Winslow win.
Halle Hayes went the full seven innings for the victory, but had trouble with control and walked two batters in the fourth inning with no outs and three in the fifth. She managed to strike out key batters in both innings and benefit from a magnificent catch for the final out in the fifth. She finished by giving up just five hits, but issued eight walks. She also fanned eight.
Renee Bollin was two for three for Winslow with a double and a home run. Baca was two for three with a double. Dallas Zamora and Lymer were each one for three with a double. Jamie Bollin was one for two. Halle Hayes was one for four.
Ortiz led Coolidge with two hits in three at bats including a double. Tiffany Thompson was one for two for the Bears. Garcia was one for three and Cavazos was one for four.
Before the Winslow-Payson game on Friday, Empire will meet Estrella Foothills in the other semifinal game. Estrella Foothills shut out Benson 1-0 on Saturday, while Empire edged Show Low, 4-3.
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By Sam Conner