Sahuaro's Amanda Nicholas launched a three-run homer in the fifth inning to break a 3-3 tie and help the Lady Cougars knock off Canyon del Oro, 7-5, in the championship semifinals of the Desert Mountain Softball Invitational at Horizon Park.
Nicholas, a catcher, also made an outstanding catch of a foul pop up off the bat of Canyon del Oro slugger Makenna Sullivan to cut short a sixth-inning rally. Andie Larkins went the distance in the circle for Sahuaro, who improved to 6-0 in the tournament.
In the other semifinal, Chaparral improved to 6-0 in the tourney and managed to squeeze out single runs in the first and second inning, enough to nip Horizon, 2-1. Horizon had a chance to tie or take the lead in thetop of the seventh inning, but Chaparral called on ace Dallas McBride to get the final two outs via strikeout. Horizon got three hits (two doubles) from T Statman. Statman was the hard-luck losing pitcher. Horizon had knocked off tourney unbeaten and No. 2 see3d Mountain Ridge earlier in the day, 3-1. CDO did the same to unbeaten No. 4 seed Red Mountain with an 8-6 triumph. Sullivan had four RBI in that game.