Riley Flynn’s arm probably felt like it was going to fall off. Same thing for Bridget Donahey, but for a different reason.
It all added
up to a bittersweet finish for Xavier Prep’s softball team on Saturday (Feb.
29) in championship bracket play at the annual Sunrise Mountain Tournament at
Pioneer Community Park in Peoria.
scored two impressive wins early in the day, but couldn’t get the timely hits
that coach Brad Downes wanted in the afternoon championship game against Peoria
outburst by Centennial in the bottom of the sixth inning overcame a 2-1 Xavier
lead for a 4-2 victory.
wrapped up the tournament with wins in five out of six games. The team scored
in double figures in four of those.
(Xavier players) played well. It was a good weekend,’’ Downes said. “We are a
lot better off than we were a couple of years ago (when Downes was an
assistant). I don’t think we even won a game in the tournament then, but now we
have five and it’s something to build on.’’
Just as she
did a year ago in her freshman season, Flynn shouldered the load in the
17 2/3 innings in the three games that covered nearly seven hours with a few
brief breaks in between. One guesstimate had her throwing close to 250 or so
pitches. And don’t forget another amazing feat – junior catcher Macy Lee caught
every one of those pitches. That can take a toll on the knees.
bottom of the sixth, Berdina Riggs, one of two freshman pitchers for Xavier
this season, got the final out after Meghan Golden, the starting and winning
pitcher for Centennial, produced the decisive two-run single off of Flynn.
admitted that Flynn “was a little tired at the end. She pitched in six games
over three days. It’s been awhile since she’s done something like that.’’
Saturday, Flynn worked an 11-0 win over Phoenix Greenway and a 13-2 win over
Surprise Shadow Ridge.
have a few days to rest up before going back out there for Xavier’s home opener
at Petznick Field on Tuesday (March 3) against Surprise Valley Vista.
the next six weeks, it will be Downes’ job to figure out how his team will move
forward in the wake of the loss of Donahey, a sophomore shortstop who is coming
into her own among Arizona’s elite.
In the third
inning against Greenway, Donahey was hit by a pitch in the right (throwing)
arm, about halfway between the elbow and the wrist. She left the game shortly
thereafter, and did not return to play in either of the other two games. A
makeshift splint/cast was put on the arm, but Donahey was taken to a nearby
medical facility by her father, and X-rays revealed a fracture.
in the late stages of the game against Centennial and put up a brave front,
trying to laugh it off. The arm was in a sling and she went out on the field to
encourage her teammates in between innings, giving them high fives with her
thing about our team is that we have some nice interchangeable parts,’’ Downes
Donahey’s departure, Downes moved some chess pieces around, switching sophomore
Meghan Schouten from second base to third base, junior Jazmin Andrade from
third base to shortstop and junior Sydney Johnson from outfield to second base.
For the time
being, that likely will be what fans will see when the Gators play defense.
Donahey’s older sister, Katie, a senior center fielder, also can play shortstop
if needed. She put in a lot of time there as a sophomore.
situation is nothing they haven’t seen or been involved with in practice from
time to time,’’ Downes said. “Jazmin in particular is a terrific third baseman,
but she also is a very good shortstop because she plays at that spot on a
regular basis in club ball.’’
outfielder Lana Kline might take on a bigger role. She can use her speed on
defense and offense can be used as a slap/bunt/leadoff type. She had two bunt
singles in the win over Shadow Ridge.