Split Decision

YUMA, Ariz. – Seven runs proved to be just enough in game two for the Arizona Western College softball team on Saturday afternoon. The Lady Mats (35-14 overall, 29-9 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) saw a five run lead dwindle to one in the seventh inning, but they escaped with a 7-6 win after Allison Betty touched second for the third out against Phoenix College. The AWC win snapped a 13-game Phoenix (32-7 overall, 28-6 ACCAC) winning streak. AWC lost 4-2 to the fourth-ranked (Division II) Bears in game one.

AWC entered the seventh inning of game two holding a 7-2 lead, but Phoenix got on a roll. With one out, the Bears put two on, and Tylor Gil hit a two-run single that trimmed the lead to 7-4. PC loaded the bases with two more singles. Kara Golden hit a slow roller down the third base line, but AWC pitcher Makenna Stram flipped it home for the force out that was the second out of the inning. Mackenzie Whitten singled in a pair of runs to cut the lead to 7-6, but Betty ended the game one batter later. She ranged to her right to track down a grounder up the middle, and she beat Whitten to second base for the third out.

PC started out on top with a pair of runs in the first inning. With one out and two runners on, Haley Johnston hit a single to center field. The lead runner scored, but the trailing runner was tagged out at the plate. Kaitlyn Dennis hit a single to center, and it was bobbled to allow Johnston to score.

The Lady Mats took advantage of a couple Phoenix mistakes to take the lead in the bottom half of the inning. A singled, an error and a walk loaded the bases for the Lady Mats. With two outs, Koryne Coddington hit a grounder to short that bounced off of Valerie Holguin’s glove to score one run. Michelle Roldan followed it up with a two-run single through the left side of the infield for a 3-2 lead.

Burgos led off the third inning with a double, and Roldan sent her to third with a single. With one out, Isabel Sanchez knocked in Burgos off an RBI fielder’s choice. Sanchez scored one batter later on a double by Yassiel Lazo for a 5-2 lead.

Burgos came up big again for the Lady Mats in the fourth. This time, she knocked grounder off the glove of a diving Marissa Pluguez deep in the hole at short for a run-scoring double. She went 2-3 with two doubles and three runs scored in the game. Coddington followed it up with an RBI double to shallow left field off the tip of Pluguez’s glove for a 7-2 lead.

Stram (19-6) earned the win in the circle for the Lady Mats. She allowed all six runs (five earned) on 12 hits in seven innings. Stram walked four and struck out three. The win keeps her at the top of the conference in wins.

Gil (4-4) took the loss for Phoenix. She allowed four runs, one earned, on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts in 2.1 innings.

Phoenix took game one after taking an early lead. AWC’s offense rallied late, but the Bears were able to hold off AWC.

In the top of the first inning, Phoenix’s Johnston tagged a two-run homer run to left field for a 2-0 lead. It was her 10th homer of the season.

Neither side scored again until the sixth. Phoenix made it 3-0 in the top of the sixth with an RBI single up the middle by Golden. She went 3-3 in game one.

AWC broke through in the sixth. With one out, Stram and Campa both singled. Betty zipped a double off the left field wall to score Stram. Campa came home on a groundout by Alvarez one batter later to cut it to 3-2.

With two outs in the seventh, Dennis put Phoenix back up by with an RBI double to left field.

AWC put runners on first and second in the bottom of the seventh, but Stram popped up to the infield to end the game.

Coddington (14-8) took the loss in the circle. She allowed all four runs, all earned, on 10 hits in seven innings. The freshman walked two and struck out one.

Kiana Carr (17-1) picked up the win for Phoenix. She gave up two runs on six hits in seven innings without a walk while striking out five.

AWC is on the road on Tuesday at Yavapai College. The doubleheader starts at noon in Prescott.

Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,300 certificates and degrees in 2016-17.

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