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Freshmen emerge, carry Desert Oasis past Clark

The foundation for Desert Oasis’ softball team is a nucleus of seniors that includes all-state catcher Emily Heinz.

But a tandem of freshmen carried the torch for the Diamondbacks on Friday.

Shonda Badayos pitched a four-hitter with five strikeouts, Karly Severance hit a two-out, two-run single to break a tie in the fifth inning, and Desert Oasis held on for a 3-2 victory at Clark.

“They’re the future of this program, and I’m blessed to have these kids out here,” first-year Desert Oasis coach Kimberly Scott said of her freshmen. “The future’s very bright.”

Desert Oasis (14-11, 8-5) stayed in fourth place in the Southwest League and inched closer to a spot in the Sunset Region playoffs. The Diamondbacks would clinch a spot by winning one of their final three league games and fifth-place Bonanza losing one of its final three.

The loss eliminated Clark (8-18, 5-8) from playoff contention.

Severance entered the game as a pinch hitter in the fifth and singled to center field to score Brionna Santovito and Taylor Beacham to put Desert Oasis up 3-1.

Clark pulled within 3-2 when Jezebel Tuitele scored on a throwing error in the seventh. The Chargers had the potential tying run at third base with two outs, but Badayos got Alia Armstrong to fly out to right to end the game.

“(Badayos) held on. When she got a walk, she didn’t let that walk keep her down,” Scott said. “She battled constantly. She’s a warrior.”

Badayos walked three but pitched perfect second, fifth and sixth innings.

“I had to hang in, especially because it was so hot. It was draining me, but I had to keep going for my team,” Badayos said. “I’m just really happy for everybody and glad we pulled through.”

Beacham and Mallory Hall each had two hits and scored a run for Desert Oasis, which won for the third time in its past four games.

Armstrong, a freshman, was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored and pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

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