By Sam Conner
The Winslow Lady Bulldogs took 11 innings to edge Nogales on Friday in just one of the close games in the opening two rounds of the Arizona State Division III Softball Championship Tournament held at Rose Mofford Stadium in Phoenix.
On May 3, teams seeded higher than eight met to determine who would play the top eight seeds on Friday. In those games Estrella Foothills bleated Page 17-5, Northwest Christian topped Rio Rico 8-1, Coolidge beat Window Rock 8-4, Thatcher eliminated Holbrook 12-3, Benson blasted Round Valley 13-8, River Valley topped Combs 7-2, Bourgade Catholic beat Morenci 5-2 and Nogales blanked Chinle 7-0.
On Friday, Winslow edged Nogales 9-8 in 11 innings, Empire blasted Bourgade Catholic 10-0, Tanque Verde shutout River Valley 2-0, Benson edged Show Low 7-6, Snowflake thrashed Thatcher 10-3, Blue Ridge topped Coolidge 4-1, Camp Verde topped Northwest Christian 10-7 and Payson shutout Estrella Foothills 10-0.
The field was cut to four teams in Saturday’s play as Payson defeated Camp Verde 5-2, Snowflake nipped Blue Ridge 2-1, Winslow got by Empire 9-4 and Benson beat Camp Verde 7-2.
That set up semi-final games on Friday, May 16, between Winslow and Benson and Payson and Snowflake with the winners to meet for the championship on Saturday at Mofford