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.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Gator softball has its "most complete effort''

 From here on out, through the remainder of the regular season and throughout the 6A Conference state tournament, Xavier Prep coach Brad Downes would like to see his team play the way it did on Monday (April 4).

The Gators traveled to Chandler Hamilton for a 6A Premier Region game and kept the bat on the ball for most of the afternoon in a 12-0 victory, with the game halted after 5 innings due to the 10-run rule.

Xavier is 13-4, while Hamilton drops to 12-6.

The Gators scored twice in the first, five in the second, one in the third and four in the fourth.

“They (Gators) were good. They were getting after it,’’ Downes said. “They kept it going. They were not just satisfied with one or two innings.’’

He called it “the most complete effort we have had all season – hitting, pitching and defense. Hopefully, we can build on that.’’

The Gators’ next order of business will be to gain a bit of revenge on Thursday (April 7) at XCP’s Petznick Field against Chandler Basha, which defeated Xavier 10-0 in five innings on March 22 at Basha.

Xavier collected 13 hits against Hamilton, including two-run home runs by senior leaders Bridget Donahey and Riley Flynn.

Flynn also was in her usual spot in the pitching circle. She gave up just two hits, walked one and struck out six.

Donahey also drove in a third run with a bases-loaded walk, and nearly had another two-run homer in the fifth, but the Hamilton left fielder tracked it down while brushing into the fence in the left-field corner.

Xavier leadoff hitter Lauren Putz had three hits and drove in a run.

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