Bio

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 AIA365.com, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Gators put softball loss in rear-view mirror



At first glance, one might not think that playing a game on the day after a 14-0, no-hit loss in five innings would be beneficial for a softball team.
But in this case, Xavier Prep coach Carrie Markham wasn’t too concerned about the scenario.
“It was good for them (players),’’ she said after Tuesday’s (March 8) road loss to Phoenix Pinnacle and Wednesday’s (March 9) home game against Glendale Mountain Ridge.
Good indeed.
The Gators came out focused and responded with a 5-0 victory as senior Caitlyn Dickman scattered seven hits and struck out four.
The big hits for Xavier (9-2) were a run-scoring double by senior Emily Richards in the two-run first inning, a two-run home run by senior Becky Ducar in the third and an RBi single by Dickman in the fifth.
Dickman did a good job getting out of a few jams, leaving two runners stranded in the second and fifth innings.
“Those were two games back to back against two historically tough teams,’’ Markham said. “We wanted to come out, refocus and play to win.’’
The coach added that Dickman had to adjust to the plate umpire’s changing strike zone and essentially allowed her defense to make the plays and not strike so many people out.
“She had to figure out what to do, and she did a good job,’’ Markham said.
The game was set up to be a duel between Markham and her cousin, Michele, the Mountain Ridge coach, but Michele Markham stepped down as coach just before the season began due to family reasons. She has been replaced by Kent Decker.
Xavier’s next game is a home game at Petznick Field against Goodyear Millennium on Monday (March 14).




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