It was an understatement to say that Tucson Canyon del Oro’s softball team was stunned by a 17-0 loss to rival Ironwood Ridge in the Division II state tournament on Thursday (May 8).
A loss of that magnitude is as rare as a blizzard in the desert for the Dorados, long a state powerhouse.
That meant they had to have a short memory and leave all of that behind as they moved to the loser’s bracket to face Glendale Raymond S. Kellis in the double-elimination event on Saturday (May 10) at the Rose Mofford Sports Complex in Phoenix.
Fourth-seeded CDO did so in a big way, slamming a pair of home runs and getting a strong pitching performance from sophomore Gabrielle Blevins for a 7-1 victory to eliminate No. 8 Kellis.
CDO advances to the next round on Tuesday (May 13) and will face the loser of a winner’s bracket game between Glendale Cactus and Marana on Monday (May 12). All games are at Rose Mofford.
“Ironwood Ridge is always a big game for us, and we were shocked by the outcome,’’ said CDO Stephanie Nicholson.
“That didn’t make us change what we do in practice. We just had to come out and be ready to play.’’
Rebecca Ziegler hit a two-run homer to highlight a three-run first for the Dorados. CDO added three more in the fourth, two on a homer by Makenzie Sullivan. That was more than enough for Blevins, who shuttled between the varsity and junior-varsity during the regular season.
Blevins pitched a four-hitter and struck out six. She did not give up a hit after third inning.
“Gabby did a great job for us,’’ Nicholson said. “She kept their hitters off balance and used her drop ball very well.’’
“We have a good, balanced team. We have speedsters at the top of the lineup who can create chaos and we have good power.’’