By: Joshua Gerard Gargiulo
PHOENIX - “Outright domination” is a best-fit adjective for Phoenix College Softball commanding wins during the 2019 ACCAC Region I Division II Tournament. Winning by an average of eight runs per game over the duration.
Head Coach, Heinz Mueller looked no more nervous than any other day; as the smiling Arizona sun shined down on the #1-overall seeded Bears. Heading into Day One, PC would be facing Mesa Community College in an 11am early-start. In a less-than-entertaining game, the Bears handed Mesa their 30th loss on the season in an 8-0 shutout by Briana “Breezy” Hardy.
The Undefeated, All-American Pitcher added wins 26, 27 and 28 to her impeccable Freshman-campaign in dominant fashions: serving up two shutouts while also tossing 22 K’s. The workhorse #24 didn’t stop there, adding eight RBI to her ledger by tournament’s end.
Game two saw Phoenix College pitted against cross-town rival Glendale. Following a quick 1-2-3, PC quickly threw two on the board. Despite letting the Gauchos tie it up in the “Top of the Second,” Phoenix College responded with a four run bottom-half; while also adding another in the third and four more in the fourth. Enforcing the “run-rule” after five.
All but two starters recorded one or multiple RBI. With RBI efforts coming from Sydnee Smith (2), Mackenzie Whitten, Hana Krosky, Briana Hardy (3), Haley Johnston (2), Ela Henry and Kamryn Moctezuma.
Handling Glendale accordingly, the Bears guaranteed themselves a spot in the ACCAC Tournament Final. Awaiting the winner of Glendale vs. Chandler-Gilbert, a rematch of the first tournament game, the following day.
Picking up the following day at 10am, the Gauchos and Coyotes came out and played a game for a near-record of two hours and fifty minutes. The “rest” of Phoenix College was matched-up against the already hot bats of the Gauchos, who had just took a Grand Slam “yard” in the “Top of the Seventh” to secure a spot in the final.
The Pitchers-duel was deadlocked through three, until the bats of Ela Henry and Jocelyn LeFlesch found the formula to get on-base; Kamrym Moctezuma knocking them in on a three-run shot to left-center. Four more runs in the “Bottom of the Sixth” laid rest to an already drained Gauchos’ team.
Phoenix College clinches their 17th-overall ACCAC title and their fifth-straight dating back to 2015. They will travel to Clinton, MS for the NJCAA Division II National Tournament. The tournament will take place from May 22nd-25th, 2019 at Traceway Park. It is located under its rightful name in Clinton, MS 39056.