DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four 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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gators use big rally in 6th to stun Desert Mtn.

Wait for it . . .
And . . . done.
Xavier’s softball team had to be patient when it faced visiting Scottsdale Desert Mountain at Petznick Field on Thursday (March 26).
The Gators trailed the Wolves 5-3 entering the bottom of the sixth inning. Catcher Cheyann Tucker had hit a pair of home runs to account for all of the Desert Mountain scoring.
But Xavier erupted for seven runs in the sixth to win going away 10-5.
The Gators raised their record to 15-4, while Desert Mountain dropped to 9-9.
Xavier got a two-run single from eventual winning pitcher Caitlyn Dickman and a two-run ground-rule double from Becky Ducar to highlight its outburst.
Sam Sydenham had two hits in the inning and starting pitcher Emily Richards put down a nice bunt in front of the plate that resulted in a Desert Mountain throwing error to set up the big inning.
Annamarie Hartman also scored a big run when she got caught in a rundown between third and home and managed to escape the attempted tag by Tucker at the plate.
Tucker had been a thorn in the Gators’ side most of the day, and Xavier coach Bobby Pena he admitted he was starting to get a bit impatient waiting for his bats to come around in the fourth inning.
The Gators went down quietly in that inning and wasted a one-out triple by Megan Donahey in the fifth as Desert Mountain held a 5-3 lead.
“When we got to the sixth inning, I said, “We have two more at-bats (to tie it),’ ’’ Xavier coach Bobby Pena said.
“We are a good-hitting team and I felt that at the very least we could score one in the sixth and then tie it up in the seventh. Things opened up for us in the sixth.’’
Richards and Dickman have been sharing the pitching duties most of the season, usually alternating as the starter with the other entering the game later in relief if needed.
Richards struggled a bit in the early going and Pena went to Dickman in the sixth. Dickman retired the side in order in both the sixth and seventh.
Xavier returns to action on Tuesday (March 31) with a home game against Mesa Mountain View. First pitch is at 3:45 p.m.

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