Its late-game heroics worked last week, but this time around, No. 12 Salpointe Catholic couldn't muster another comeback effort.
After scoring eight runs in the seventh inning against Ironwood Ridge last week, the Lancers managed just one in a five-inning, run-rule 11-1 loss to No. 2 Canyon del Oro at Cherry Field on Tuesday.
The loss eliminated the Lancers from the Division II state tournament, while CDO will face I-Ridge at 6:30 p.m. today at Cherry Field.
"We were outmatched today," said Salpointe coach Stacy Schulte. "My girls had fight in them; we just couldn't put it all together. It was just one of those nights."
The Lancers committed six errors, and seven of CDO's runs were unearned.
But don't call that luck.
"We always want to see hits fall and be legit hits," CDO coach Stephanie Nicholson said. "But a team that's going to capitalize on miscues and errors is going to, well, capitalize. Our defense had the same errors. We just were able to ride the wave."
While the Salpointe errors certainly helped, as did RBI doubles from Brenna Griesser, Dominique Gonzalez and Heather Knight, and a home run from Makenzie Sullivan in the fourth inning, it was starting pitcher Alexis Alfonso who was at the head of the wave.
Alfonso (15-4) pitched a complete game, which she closed out with a strikeout of Salpointe's Anne Scarangella, to improve CDO to 31-5.
"I kept the girls off balance," Alfonso said. "I thought I did pretty well. My curveball was looking good and I think I did a pretty good job."
Added Nicholson: "She's going out there and she's leaving it all out on the field. She's gotta hope the whole defense is behind her, but she believes and we believe and it's good."
The Dorados won both matchups with I-Ridge this year, 8-4 on Feb. 26 and 9-7 on April 2. The Nighthawks defeated Glendale Cactus 10-0 on Tuesday.
We need to keep the energy up," Nicholson said. "Stay composed. We've got Ironwood. It's a rivalry, but it should be a good game."
• Ironwood Ridge 10, Glendale Cactus 0: In Phoenix, Ironwood Ridge scored five runs in the fifth inning to beat 11th-seeded Glendale Cactus 10-0 at Rose Mofford Sports Complex on Tuesday and stay alive in the Division II state tournament.
Now the fourth-seeded Nighthawks (26-10) will face archrival Canyon del Oro in a win-or-go-home game today at Cherry Field.
"We both know each other," I-Ridge coach Randy Anway said. "It'll be a good game."
Four batters after junior Erin Rocker hit her second double to bring in two runs and put the Nighthawks up 8-0 in the fifth, freshman Reina Bondi hit an RBI single to make it 10-0 and end the game.
Junior Emily Robinson gave up four hits over five scoreless innings and used less than 50 pitches against the Cobras for the win.
"She broke her wrist before the season," Anway said.
"She's starting to get back and feel better about herself. It's a good win for her."
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Zack Rosenblatt Daniel Gaona