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, February 28, 2017

Hamilton too strong for Gators in home opener

Chandler Hamilton showed the Arizona softball world what it was made of last season, earning the state’s big-school state championship, the school’s first.
As the new season begins, the Huskies don’t appear to have lost much, if anything.
Xavier Prep’s Gators found out the hard way on Tuesday (Feb. 28), dropping their home opener 11-1 in a contest shortened to five innings by the 10-run (lead) rule.
Xavier fell to 3-3 and doesn’t have much time to dwell on the outcome. They travel to face Phoenix Pinnacle on Wednesday (March 1). Pinnacle defeated XCP recently in the Sunrise Mountain Invitational in Peoria.
Hamilton (3-0) pounded out 14 hits, including a pair of home runs. And four Husky pitchers combined to limit Xavier to four hits, none after the second inning. Xavier’s highlight on offense was a solo homer by senior shortstop Kaela Stehly, the Gators’ second batter of the game in the first inning.
The big inning for the Huskies was the third, when they scored six runs on six hits. Four of those hits were for extra bases.
Xavier will meet 6A Conference Premier Region foe Hamilton one more time this season, at Hamilton on April 18.

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