Xavier softball solid in all facets, defeats Centennial
Originally published: Mar 9, 2013 - 12:00 am
The chilly weather that invaded the Valley on Saturday (March 9) didn’t seem to bother the softball team from Phoenix Xavier Prep.
The Gators were feeling just fine. They warmed themselves up with an 11-2 victory over Peoria Centennial in the first of two Xavier games in its own tournament. The tournament originally was to have been played at the Rose Mofford Sports Complex in north Phoenix, beginning on Friday, but was moved to Xavier, which has artificial turf.
Xavier remained unbeaten at 9-0 by doing a little bit of everything, which is becoming its trademark in 2013.
The Gators bunted well, and showed strength in their power game, with home runs by Megan Ward and Kendyl Melton. Ward hit a solo shot in the second inning and Ward connected for a three-run shot in the sixth to put the game away. The game was shortened to six innings due to a time limit.
“This season, maybe more so than in recent seasons, we feel more comfortable bunting as well as being able to hit away,’’ said Xavier coach Bobby Pena, whose team also faced Gilbert Campo Verde later Saturday afternoon. “We have speed and we have good bat control.’’
He likes what he has seen thus far. He is keeping his fingers crossed.
“The biggest thing so far is that we have had zero injuries, zero illness,’’ he said. “”Last year, we had about five girls out. That makes a difference in having more players available on a consistent basis and allowing them to gain experience.’’
Centennial (6-3) had defeated Yuma Cibola 12-2 in the first game of the day on Saturday.
The Coyotes were victimized by the Gators’ short game, later the long ball.
Centennial couldn’t get much going against Xavier pitcher Kaylee Johnson, except for a two-run homer by Skylar McCarty in the fifth inning that cut tle deficit to 8-2.
Megan Donahey led Xavier with three hits. McCarty had a pair of hits for Centennial.