DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for more than three decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Big-time home run not enough for Gators

Xavier Prep softball players look forward to the day of their first victory of the season. Unfortunately, it has not arrived yet.

The Gators made another attempt on Tuesday (March 6) but couldn’t get over the top, falling 10-2 to visiting Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor.

Xavier is now 0-6-2, O’Connor 9-0-1.

Sandra Day O’Connor hit a triple to lead off the game and kept the hits coming after that, including a pair of home runs.

Xavier managed five hits, and one of them was quite noteworthy.

Pitcher Mercedes Silva, hitting left-handed in the third inning, sent a drive over the right-field fence and beyond. It went over the portable fence, then over the wrought-iron fence at the edge of the Xavier property and onto Meadowbrook Avenue. It’s a wonder that Xavier beach volleyball players across the street didn’t have to duck and cover.

Another occurrence of note came with Sandra Day O’Connor at bat in the top of the sixth inning. Melissa Fedorka went in to play shortstop, which is somewhat unusual considering she throws left-handed. But she handled a ground ball flawlessly and threw the runner out at first base. Fedorka also has played catcher and first base.

Xavier returns to action with another home game on Thursday (March 8) against Phoenix Desert Vista. First pitch is at 3:45 p.m.

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