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.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

XCP softball defeats Desert Vista

Xavier Prep softball coach Bobby Pena says Caitlin Dickman is in a pitching zone.
“Caitlin’s on fire right now. She is very consistent,’’ Pena said on Tuesday (March 17), after Dickman and Emily Richards combined for a 7-1 victory over visiting Phoenix Desert Vista. “She (Dickman) believes that all of her pitches work.’’
All Desert Vista could muster was three hits for the game, and scored its only run in the third inning after Xavier (12-4) jumped out to a 5-1 lead with five runs in the first inning.
The Gators had five hits in the big inning, including a two-run double by Richards. The team also was helped by a walk and a Desert Vista error.
Dickman took over in the pitching circle in the third inning after Richards became frustrated due to the base umpire calling her for some “illegal’’ pitches when she apparently did not have one foot on the pitching rubber on a few pitches and was “crow hopping.’’
Richards had struck out five batters over the first two innings but walked the first two in the third.
Xavier increased its lead to 7-1 with a pair of runs in the fifth. Those came on run-scoring hits by Becky Ducar and Sam Sydenham.
Pena admitted that it always is good when his team scores some runs early, but isn’t going to worry if it doesn’t.
“We tell the girls that even if the other team gets a run on us early, we know we’re going to come back and score a run at some point,’’ he said.
Xavier is back in action on Wednesday (March 18) with a road game against Mesa Desert Ridge. First pitch is 3:30 p.m.
Xavier third baseman Sam Sydenham collects one of her two hits.

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