The cardiac Coyotes kids have forced one last game for a chance at the 5A softball title game.
Centennial softball, ranked no. 6, stayed alive with a 2-1 victory May 10 over No. 3 Vail Cienega to force a rematch May 11 at Rose Mofford Complex with the winner advancing to the 5A title game against No. 8 Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge May 14 at ASU Farrington Stadium.
Starting pitcher Sydnie Sahhar held off a late rally allowing only three hits and walking two for the complete game victory.
“I was just trying to stay relaxed and trying to trust God,” Sahhar said. “We are just trying to focus on playing for each other and I just felt really good today.”
Sahhar allowed one run in the second inning, but retired the final 13 batters to seal the victory.
“Our pitching has just been great and (Sahhar) come back (from an injury her sophomore season) and did a great job,” Centennial coach Randy Kaye said.
Centennial scored first in the top of the second when Emily White drove in a run on the ground and junior Makenzie Celeya drove in the second run with a single to left field to put the Coyotes up 2-0, before Cienega got its lone run in the bottom of the second.
Both Coyotes runs were unearned after an error by Cienega.
“That’s what we seem to be doing is getting the timely hit, and it’s just been good for us,” Kaye said. “We are going to have to hit better if we want to get past the (re-match May 11).”
Centennial’s Abby Doughty drove in both runs with a double to left center field and may have added more but she tried to reach third and was thrown out by left fielder Jaydin Gonzalez.
Gonzalez was strong in the field as she also made a diving catch and an over-the-shoulder catch against the wall later in the game.
“Those were come great plays that kept runs (for Cienega) off the board,” Kaye said. “It could have been three bags on any of those hits.”
Sahhar, who threw nearly 100 pitches in the game, was unsure if she would pitch the rematch, but she said she was ready.
“I don’t know, but I will be ready to do whatever is asked of me,” Sahhar said.
Kaye says whoever he starts on the mound, he knows his team will be ready to compete.
“I am confident in all three of my pitchers,” Kaye said. “Sahhar, (senior Alanna) Moran and (freshman Meghan) Golden are all strong but it is hard to take the ball out of (Sahhar’s) hand right now. She is really feeling it and I think she has something she wants to prove after last year and she is living for this moment.”
The elimination game May 11 will be the third time Centennial has faced Cienega in the past 11 days as Cienega won the first round game (May 1) 7-1.
“I like our chances,” Kaye said. “We now have all the momentum, so I just want to see the girls come out and play hard and leave it all on the field.”