By Sam Conner
The Winslow Lady Bulldogs got a pair of important wins over the Show Low Lady Cougars and the Snowflake Lady Lobos last to win the regular season sectional championship and the second seed in the state championship tournament. The wins improved Winslow’s record to an excellent 26-1.
On April 21, the Bulldogs hammered the overmatched Alchesay Lady Falcons 25-0 in Winslow.
On April 23, the Bulldogs pounded the Cougars 16-7 at Show Low.
Taylor Baca got the win, allowing seven runs on nine hits.
Winslow trailed 1-0 after the first inning and 5-2 after the third. An eight-run top of the fifth gave Winslow a 10-5 lead, and a one-run sixth and five-run seventh put the game out of the Cougars’ reach.
Megan Lymer led the Bulldogs at the plate with a 4 for 5 day. Baca, Richelyn Villanueva, Liz Lozano and Hailee Branson were all 2 for 4. Jaleisa Hayes and Allyssa Smith were 1 for 2, and Halle Hayes was 1 for 4.
On April 30, the Bulldogs defeated the Lobos 11-7 in Snowflake.
Baca again got the win, giving up seven runs on 14 hits.
The Bulldogs had to come from behind to win this game, too. They trailed 3-0 after the first inning and 7-1 after the second. A four-run top of the third cut the margin to 7-5. Single runs in the four and fifth innings tied the score at 7-7, and a four-run top of the seventh won the game.
Halle Hayes was 3 for 4 to lead the Bulldogs. Renee Bollin and Villanueva were both 2 for 3. Baca was 2 for 4. Lymer and Kellie Branson were both 1 for 2.
The Bulldogs will play No. 15 Nogales, a 7-0 winner over No. 18 Chinle in the first round, in the second round of the Arizona State Division III State Championship Softball Tournament at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 9, at the Rose Mofford Complex in Phoenix.
In other first round games, No. 17 Estrella Foothills defeated No. 16 Page, 17-5, to move on to meet No. 1 Payson. No. 9 Northwest Christian downed No. 24 Rio Rico, 8-1, and will next face No. 8 Camp Verde. No. 21 Coolidge defeated No. 12 Window Rock, 8-4, and will next face No. 5 Blue Ridge. No. 20 Thatcher bested No. 13 Holbrook, 12-3, for the right to play No. 4 Snowflake. No. 14 Benson defeated No. 19 Round Valley, 13-8, and will play No. 3 Show Low. No. 11 River Valley moved past No. 22 Combs to play No. 6 Tanque Verde. No. 23 Bourgade Catholic knocked off No. 10 Morenci, 5-2, and will play No. 7 Empire.
By Sam Conner