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, April 12, 2016

Gators score 8 runs, need every one to win

The Xavier Prep softball team produced at least one run in every inning of its home game against Peoria Centennial on Monday (April 11).
And the Gators needed every one of them, surviving a five-run uprising by the Coyotes in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh for an 8-7 victory. The two teams had split two games earlier in the season.
Xavier improved its overall record to 14-3, and Centennial fell to 8-9. Xavier travels to face Scottsdale Desert Mountain on Thursday (April 14) and returns home to play Scottsdale Chaparral on Friday (April 15).
“It’s good we were able to hit the ball,’’ said Xavier coach Carrie Markham.
“This game was a reminder that anyone can come back. Just because you have a big lead doesn’t mean the other team is going to give up.
“They’re (Centennial) a good-hitting team and have always hit well off us.’’
The Coyotes went down fighting until the end. The last out of the game was a line drive by Kenzie Celeya that was caught by Xavier third baseman Marie Funes with the tying run at second base.
Xavier senior pitcher Emily Richards was breezing along until the sixth, when Centennial scored five runs. Richards came out for the seventh, but departed in favor of senior Caitlyn Dickman after giving up a leadoff double.
Dickman’s first pitch was ripped for a double by Serina Estrada to score Caitlyn Swisher. Dickman gave up another RBI double to Reyna Duran with two outs before Celeya lined out.
Xavier’s big inning came in the second when it scored three runs, two on a single by Kylie Rodgers and the third on a sacrifice bunt by Megan Donahey.
Kaela Stehly drove in a run with a single in the fifth and Becky Ducar drove in what proved to be the winning run with a single in the sixth.

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