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.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Softball takes it to the limit but falls again

 Friday’s (March 25) 1-0 softball loss to Phoenix Desert Vista in Ahwatukee was a tough one to take for Xavier Prep’s Gators, perhaps even tougher than the 10-0, 5-inning setback to Chandler Basha on Tuesday (March 22).

Against Desert Vista, Xavier (10-4) was in it all the way until the bottom of the seventh inning.

Xavier senior Riley Flynn and Desert Vista junior Jocelyn Briski were locked in one of those pitching duels that is pure scrapbook material.

Briski, who has committed to Alabama, gave up just one hit (by Flynn), walked one and struck out seven. Flynn, headed for Harvard this fall, gave up two hits, walked three and struck out seven.

The decisive pitch came in the seventh when Thunder sophomore Katelynn Larney sent the ball flying out of the yard for a home run, allowing her team to raise its record to 14-5.

Xavier returns home to Petnick Field for its next two games this week, against Gilbert Perry on Tuesday (March 29) and Mesa Red Mountain on Friday (April 1). The latter game will be a rematch of last season’s 6A state championship game won by Xavier, the school’s first.

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