Green Valley softball coach Lauren Taylor sent her team onto the field Wednesday knowing she’d need help from her key players to get a victory over Silverado.
She didn’t count on all the help she was about to get from the Skyhawks.
Silverado committed seven errors, six in the first two innings, and the Gators capitalized on the way to a 10-3 victory in the winners’ bracket final of the Sunrise Region Tournament at Foothill.
The win lifted Green Valley (22-9) into Friday’s 3 p.m. championship game. The Skyhawks (11-7) will play either Coronado (25-11) or Foothill (24-14) in the losers’ bracket final at 5 p.m. Thursday.
“I can’t explain what happened out there,” Taylor said of Silverado’s three first-inning errors. “But it definitely fueled our fire. I always tell the girls to put the ball in play to force the other team to have to make plays. We were able to do that.”
They did it in the first inning, scoring three runs on one hit and three errors, and again in the second with five runs on five hits and three more errors.
Gators pitcher Fenixx Henderson avoided serious trouble throughout the game, with the exception of the fourth inning, when the Skyhawks put together four hits to score all three of their runs.
“I knew (Silverado) had the bats (to rally),” said Taylor, whose team finished with 12 hits. “But we do, too. We just have days when we choose not use them. Hitting can be contagious, and it was today.”
Maggie Manwarren, Cori Sutton, Samantha Loving and Megan Barrera each had two hits to lead the Gators’ offense.
Kiki Pindel went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs to lead the Skyhawks.
Foothill 9, Las Vegas 8 — RaeAnn Brems’ fielder’s choice drove in Hannah Stevens from third base with no outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to help the Falcons stun the Wildcats in the early losers’ bracket game.
Foothill will play Coronado at 3 p.m. Thursday.
The Wildcats (17-12) led 8-3 heading into the seventh, but Foothill chipped away and tied the score at 8 when Daryan Meade launched an 0-2 pitch over the left-field fence for a game-tying solo home run.
Gabby Canibeyaz went 2-for-4 with two doubles for the Falcons.
Losing pitcher Kristina Nelson went 2-for-5 with a double to lead Las Vegas.
Coronado 3, Rancho 1 — Alex Battest went 3-for-3 with a double to lead the Cougars past the Rams (21-13) in their losers’ bracket game.
Coronado jumped on Rancho starter Brandy Marlett for two runs in the first inning and one in the second, and Cougars pitcher Danielle Amato scattered seven hits over seven innings to earn the win.
Aly Lamboo went 2-for-3 with a home run and a double for the Rams.