In its first game back from spring break on Monday (March 17), the softball team from Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep went up the hill to Flagstaff and came back down full of disappointment after a 10-0 loss to Flagstaff Coconino.
But Tuesday (March 18) was another day, and that meant playing in the highly regarded Desert Mountain Invitational at north Scottsdale’s Horizon Sports Complex.
Notre Dame opened play against Phoenix Arcadia. The teams are similar in that they are talented but young, each with only one senior.
The teams were scoreless for two innings. Arcadia scored first with a run in the third, but Notre Dame scored five in the bottom of the inning.
Arcadia battled back to take a 6-5 lead before Notre Dame forced a tiebreaker (tournament play) with a run in the sixth.
Arcadia, starting the extra play with a runner at second and scored, but Notre Dame came back to record an 8-7 win on a wild pitch and an infield grounder by Emily Phillips that allowed Sam Hertle to score the decisive run.
Notre Dame improved to 2-2 and Arcadia fell to 4-3. Action continues all week at Horizon Park, with the championship round on Saturday (March 22).
“It doesn’t get much better than this, to come back twice to win the way we did,’’ said Notre Dame coach Bill Cook. “This gives us a lot of confidence, only makes us better. This is a great tournament every year, with 25 of the top teams in the state playing.’’
Arcadia could have taken control of the game early on, but couldn’t score when it needed to. The Titans left 10 runners on in the game, including eight through the first four innings.
Notre Dame got a grind-it-out pitching performance from sophomore Alex Dickey.
She gave up 14 hits, “but she hung in there and got the outs when she needed to,’’ Cook said.
Notre Dame collected 10 hits and left nine runners on.