By Greg Perkins
The Lady Lobos finished the regular season ranked fourth in the final power point standings, earning a first round bye in the state softball tournament, which began last Saturday with lower seeds facing off. The Snowflake squad will face off against No. 20 Thatcher, which got past 13th seeded Holbrook 12-3 in the opening round.
Snowflake was highly ranked throughout most of the season, and earning a split in their final two regular season games against two of the top three teams in the state didn’t hurt that seeding much at all.
The Lobos won a pitcher’s duel against Show Low April 29. Eilee Penrod’s fifth inning score was the only run for the game from either team as Snowflake won 1-0.
Penrod went 1 for 1 at the plate with a walk and stole one base. Kimber Solomon drew a walk and Tandis Yellowhair reached base once on an error.
Tori Flake pitched a gem, allowing only one hit to the 29 Lady Cougar batters she faced. She struck out five and walked six in the win.
The following day’s home game against second ranked Winslow was another close game, at least until the seventh inning.
Snowflake jumped on the Lady Bulldogs early, leading 7-1 after two innings. Winslow cut that lead to 7-5 in the third and chipped away until tying the game at 7-7 in the fifth inning. A scoreless sixth led to the top of the seventh, where the Bulldogs moved in front with four runs to win the game 11-7 and earn the second overall seed in the state tournament.
Tyler Flake went 2 for 4 with a double. Penrod was 3 for 4. Tycee Coplan went 2 for 4 and scored twice. Debbie Tai-Neff was 2 for 4 with an RBI and scored once. Ashlyn Butler went 2 for 4. Tori Flake and Solomon each went 0 for 1, but both reached on errors and scored once. Yellowhair had a nice game, going 3 for 4 with a triple, a double, three RBIs and scored twice.
Tori Flake again pitched well. She gave up 11 runs, only six earned, on eight hits with five walks and five strikeouts.
Defensively, the Lobos committed eight errors in the loss.
If the Lobos (22-10) defeat Thatcher (19-11) at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 9, on Field No. 4 of the Rose Mofford Complex in Phoenix, they will face either 21st ranked Coolidge or fifth ranked Blue Ridge in the quarterfinal round at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, also on Field No. 4.
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By Greg Perkins