By Sam Conner
The Winslow Lady Bulldogs softball team won an 11 inning game over the Nogales Lady Apaches 9-8 in the Arizona State Division III Softball Championship Tournament. The win gave the Bulldogs a 27-1 record going into the Saturday game against Empire, a 10-0 winner over Bourgade Catholic. Nogales finished the season with a 25-9 record.
The Lady Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a single by Halle Hayes, a sacrifice bunt by Jaleisa Hayes and a run scoring double by Megan Lymer. The Lady Apaches had a threat in the first inning ended on double play with the bases loaded.
Nogales tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the third inning on a Winslow error letting Karla Somosa reach base and a double by Jessica Gradillas who was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. Nogales took a 2-1 lead with two out in the inning when Czarina Lorta tripled and scored on an infield single by Alexis Cirerol.
Winslow had a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the third when Hailee Bronson and Halle Hayes singled and were sacrificed to second and third but Bronson was thrown out at the plate on a fielder’s choice.
Nogales increased their lead to 3-1 in the top of the fifth inning when Gradillas and Espinosa singled, Gradillas was retired on a double play by outfielder Liz Lozano who caught the fly and threw her out at third base with Espinosa going to second and scoring on a single by Cirerol.
The Lady Bulldogs got the big hit and took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Halle Hayes and Jaleisa Hayes singled and Taylor Baca hit a two out, three run home run over the right field fence.
Nogales came back in the top of the seventh to tie the score when Somosa singled and Gradillas reached on an error. Somosa scored on a fielder’s choice ground out by Espinosa. The game went into extra innings when the Lady Bulldogs failed to score in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Nogales went back in front 6-4 in the top of the eighth inning. Francis Rodriguez and Jackie Romero singled and were sacrificed into scoring position and scored on a single by Gradillas.
Winslow scored twice quickly in the bottom of the eighth when Baca reached on a Nogales error and Richelyn Villanueva hammered a two run home run to tie the game 6-6.
Nogales took the lead again 7-6 in the top of the ninth inning. Lorta was hit by the pitch, stole second base, was sacrificed to third by Cirerol and scored on a bunt hit by Rodriguez on a suicide squeeze play.
Halle Hayes led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and scored on a three base error by a Nogales outfielder to tie the score 7-7.
Nogales took an 8-7 lead in the top of the tenth inning on a Winslow error, a sacrifice bunt by Paula Espinosa and a single by Lorta.
Winslow came back to score in the bottom of the tenth when Alyssa Smith singled, Halle Hayes reached on a two out error and Jaleisa Hayes singled home the tying run.
The Lady Bulldogs won the game in the game in the bottom of the eleventh inning when Baca singled, Villanueva walked and Renee Bollin singled home A. J. Vigil O’Haco who was running for Baca.
Baca went the full 11 innings for the win and Emerald Grijalva went the distance for Nogales. Baca allowed eight runs on 15 hits. Grijalva allowed nine runs on 16 hits. Both teams had unearned runs due to fielding errors.
Halle Hayes led the Lady Bulldogs at the plate with a four for six night. Smith was three for five. Villanueva was three for four with a home run. Baca was two for five with a home run. Jaleisa Hayes was one for three. Lymer, Branson and Bollin were one for five.