You could call it an early Mother's Day present.
Ray pitcher Stormee Galka scattered four hits and struck out 11 Saturday morning to propel No. 4 Ray over No. 5 Superior , 7-3, in a Division IV state softball quarterfinal game at Rose Mofford Softball Complex.
Galka's mom, Rikki, is Ray's head coach. Stormee Galka also was a contributor on offense going 3-of-3 with a walk and scoring three times. Ray (22-7) moves on to the semifinals Friday May 16 for a 5:30 p.m. clash with No. 8 Valley Christian. Valley Christian rallied from a 5-0 deficit to beat top-seed Arizona Lutheran, 14-5. Superior (18-5) vs. Ray (21-7).
It was the fourth time Ray and Superior met this season and Ray had won two of the three. Rikki Galka sensed some complacency in warmups and reminded her team to get with it. Ray had won games by scores of 7-3 and 10-2. They lost once to Superior, 5-4.
“We weren't focused before the game,” Rikki Galka said. “I think they felt all they had to do was step on the field and the game was over. Once it started our attitude was better.”
Ray scored in every inning but the fifth and bulit a 6-0 lead after four innings. A fielder's choice ground out by Savannah Willis in the first made it 1-0. Ashley Ortiz blooped a two-run single with two out in the second to improve the lead to 3-0. The third inning's offense was supplied by a long home run to center by shortstop Sarah Duncklee, a two-run shot.
Stormee Galka, a sophomore lefty, was in control from the start. She allowed a leadoff infield single in the first and didn't allow another hit until the fifth. Superior scored a run in the fifth and two in the sixth. All three were unearned with errors preventing scoreless innnings.
Ray has graudually climbed the seeding ladder the last couple seasons in the D-IV tournament. Ray lost as the No. 23 seed in the first round in 2012. Last year the Lady Bearcats were No. 10 and reached the second round before losing.
The other D-IV semifinal on Friday May 16 at 5:30 pm. at Rose Mofford pits No. 3 Veritas against No. 2 San Manuel. Veritas eliminated St. David, 6-2 and San Manuel knocked off Desert Christiain, 9-1.