Despite not having many frills, the softball team from Phoenix Arizona Lutheran Academy has given its fans plenty of chills this season. With the regular season wrapping up this week, it appears the Coyotes will enter the Division IV state tournament as the No. 2 seed.
In its final home game of the season on Monday (April 28), Arizona Lutheran fell behind early but eventually got its act together and went on to subdue Tucson Desert Christian 12-4.
“We just kept doing what we do,’’ said Coyotes coach Mark Steiner. “We are not really a team that hits the ball over the fence and don’t really have anybody (pitchers) who throws 60 miles an hour. But we can pitch when we need to, swing the bat when we need to and play well in the field, allowing us to play at a reasonable level.’’
Arizona Lutheran’s record improved to 23-6. Desert Christian, No. 7 in power points entering the day, slipped to 14-7.
The Coyotes trailed 3-1 in the second inning, got a run back in the bottom of the inning and tied it at 3 in the third. Run-scoring singles by Haley Pennell and Aillyah Ortega in the fourth put ALA up 5-3.
ALA then put the game out of reach by scoring seven runs in the fifth inning.
The Coyotes had 13 hits and benefitted from nine Desert Christian errors. Arizona Lutheran had three miscues.
The team appears to have a budding star in second baseman Brynlee Gibbs. The freshman hits leadoff, uses the entire field and has good speed.
The left-handed hitter had three hits. The first was bloop triple down the left-field line. Next was a hard-hit ball off the pitcher’s leg and the third, to right field, brought home two runs.
“She loves the game. She loves playing,’’ Steiner said.
After struggling a bit in the first two innings, sophomore pitcher Jordan McClellan settled down and gave up one run and one hit the rest of the way.
Catcher Courtney Tyra led Desert Christian with two hits.