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, June 9, 2016

Xavier crew comes through in star softball

Players from Xavier Prep made quite an impact for the West team in Wednesday night’s (June 8) Arizona Softball Coaches Association Division I Senior All-Star Game at Campo Verde High in Gilbert.
There was Caitlyn Dickman. The pitcher who won 11 games for the Gators in 2016 went the full seven-inning distance in an 11-2 triumph over the East. She shut her opponents out into the sixth inning and wound up giving up eight hits and striking out three.
There was Becky Ducar. She showed her versatility by playing five positions in the field (left, right, third base, shortstop, second base) and wielded a powerful bat, smashing a grand slam to give the West a 9-0 lead in the fifth.
In the top of the fifth, Ducar helped the West defense come up with a key double play.
Ducar was playing third base with one out and a runner at third. The East batter hit a grounder to shortstop, who threw to the catcher and the runner was caught in a rundown. The catcher threw the ball to Ducar, who made a quick tag and then threw to second base to nail the batter who was trying to advance.
And there was Megan Donahey. The center fielder was selected to play but could not due to an injury. West head coach Rocky Parra of Chandler Hamilton decided to take advantage of Donahey’s observational and leadership skills by making her the third-base coach.
Chandler High shortstop Monique Noriega, playing for the West, was named the game’s MVP after hitting two home runs. The West had four round-trippers in all, Noriega’s two, the slam by Ducar and a two-run shot by Kori Gahn of Phoenix Pinnacle.
Dickman and Ducar now move on to play and study at Villanova, and Donahey will attend Princeton.

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