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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Walls crumble, Xavier softball tumbles

It was fun while it lasted.

Xavier Prep’s softball team had a 1-0 lead through the first four innings against host Glendale Mountain Ridge on Monday (March 12), but could not make it last.

The walls crumbled as Mountain Ridge scored five times in the fifth inning and six times in the sixth for an 11-2 victory.

Xavier, which had won two in a row prior to this one, dropped to 2-7-2.

The Gators scored their first run in the first inning.

Lizzie Marino led off with a single, advanced to second on an infield hit by Sydney Johnson, went to third on a groundout by Melissa Fedorka and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Bassett.

XCP played good defense and even turned a defensive miscue into a big out in the fourth. One Mountain Ridge runner was aboard by way of a single. She advanced to third on a pair of steals. A fly ball was hit to right for an out.

The runner thought about tagging up but went back to third as the throw came back in. The throw was wide into a side fence near the Xavier dugout and then the runner tried to score. Xavier retrieved the ball and got it to pitcher Mercedes Silva covering the plate, and the runner was out.

The Mountain Ridge fifth began with a groundout and then a hit batter. The Mountain Lions brought 10 players to the plate and had three hits to take a 5-1 lead.

Bassett drove in her second run of the game with one out in the sixth on a home run to right center field.

Mountain Ridge sent 11 hitters to the plate in the sixth, scoring six runs on five hits to fortify its lead.

Xavier now takes a one-week break before returning to action on March 20 with a game at Phoenix Horizon.

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