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 15, 2016

Runs come in bunches for Xavier softball

Xavier Prep’s softball team sure knows how to put runs on the board.
The Gators pounded visiting Goodyear Millennium 12-4 on Monday (March 14) for their 10th victory of the season in 12 games. In seven of those games, Xavier has scored 10 or more runs.
It was the second victory over Millennium this season. The Gators also posted a 10-0 win over the Tigers on Feb. 27 in the season-opening Sunrise Mountain Invitational tournament at Pioneer Park in Peoria.
Xavier collected 13 hits on Monday, including a three-run home run by senior pitcher Emily Richards that highlighted a five-run fourth inning.
Leadoff hitter Annamarie Hartman began the parade through the batting order with a triple to lead off the bottom of the first. The junior left fielder scored on a sacrifice fly by senior shortstop Becky Ducar, and the race was on.
Senior center fielder Megan Donahey hit a triple to right field with two outs in the second and attempted to score the team’s third run on what would have been an inside-the-park run, but she was thrown out at the plate after being waved around by third-base coach Joe Bogart.
Back-to-back doubles by Ducar and senior first baseman Caitlyn Dickman led to two more runs in the third. The Gators finished it off with two runs in the sixth.
Richards had a 10-1 lead after the fourth. Millennium (5-4) left the bases loaded in the third after Richards filled them on walks.
The Tigers scored three runs in the fifth when shortstop Denae Chatman hit a three-run homer off Richards.
Xavier coach Carrie Markham elected to give freshman pitcher Kylie Rodgers a chance, and she gave Gator fans a glimpse of what is to come after Richards and Dickman graduate, holding the Tigers scoreless on three hits in two innings and leaving two runners out on the bases on the seventh.
Xavier’s next game is March 22 at Sunrise Mountain.

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