The Sedona Red Rock High School softball team rounded out its season with a five-inning, 26-6 win at Glendale Preparatory Academy on Tuesday, April 25.
The Scorpions [5-11, 4-6 Central] managed to take care of business early under windy conditions, especially against a team it had already beaten 21-3 on April 7.
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“I think going in we wanted to make sure we won the game,” Red Rock head coach Ethan Hartz said. “It was a bit of a bus ride down there. It was windy, the conditions weren’t really great, we just wanted to get the win.”
Seven runs in the first inning and eight in the second effectively ended the game. The Griffins managed one run during that same span.
Lone senior Courtney Chalmers finished her successful senior season with a four-for-five effort, including three doubles, with four RBI and three runs scored.
Defensively Chalmers played catcher, a new position for her. Hartz praised her for her willingness to fill in whatever role necessary for the team.
“She’s been here four years, whenever we asked her to do something different she always rose to the challenge,” Hartz said. “I can’t even think of any words to compliment her. She’s been such a key component the last four years.”
Chalmers, the leadoff batter all season long, started the game off with a single and later scored the team’s first run. She went to bat for a second time in the inning, collecting three RBI on her first double of the day.
She finished her senior season with a 13-game hitting streak that included 22 hits, 11 for extra bases.
Red Rock junior pitcher Natalie Monge put the first two Griffins batters on base with walks. Despite striking out the next batter, a ground out ended the shutout before another punchout ended the inning.
Monge tripled to lead off the second frame, then scored on a passed ball to make it 8-1. Three consecutive walks loaded the bases for freshman Odalis Robles, who cleared them with a double to extend the lead to 11-1. Monge went to bat for a second time in the frame, ripping a triple to score Chalmers for the 14th run.
After striking out the side in the bottom of the second, Monge made way for freshman Natalie Montgomery to take command of the pitcher’s circle for the remainder of the contest.
Montgomery gave up one earned run on two hits with five walks and four strikeouts.
The team committed two errors. But physical errors were not the team’s biggest problem early in the season.
“I’m just happy that we got better at getting mentally prepared for games,” Hartz said. “That mental toughness to stay in games and battle.”
For the season overall, Hartz saw the biggest improvement in the team’s mental toughness. After giving up a multitude of runs, the team would switch off mentally.
By the season’s end that was not the case.
Chalmers is the only departure from this season, and both Monge and junior Ally Alver will return as the two seniors next year.
Additionally, nine freshmen and five sophomores make up a young core of players that can continue to grow for the future.
“I think the season was about as successful as it can be,” Hartz said. “Freshmen got a lot of valuable playing time and experience.”