Page softball wins play-in game to qualify for state tourney

Falls in first round of state

Steven Law
Lake Powell Chronicle

The Sand Devils softball team defeated the Window Rock Fighting Scouts 6-5 last Wednesday during the play-in round, which earned them a bracket in the 3A state championship tournament.
The Sand Devils faced off against the 16-7-1 Yuma Catholic Shamrocks on Saturday in the first round of the tournament. The Shamrocks beat them 12-5, eliminating Page from the playoffs.
The Sand Devils played a great game against the Scouts on Wednesday with strong pitching from Shelby Blake and Amaya Curley.
The Sand Devils faced the Scouts twice during the regular season, beating them once and losing once.
The Scouts scored first, driving in two runs in the second inning, but the Sand Devils came roaring back, scoring four runs in the bottom of the same inning. Nailoni Beard started the Sand Devils rally, knocking one over the center fielder’s head for a triple. This was followed by a Christina Lucero single. With no outs, the Sand Devils were in business. Shelby Blake hit a double, which brought in the two baserunners, tying the game.
Tamara Begay attempted a sacrifice bunt to bring in Blake from third but the ball went down the third base line, blocking Blake from scoring. However, Begay made it to first base and later stole second. Letia Secody hit a pop up to second for the Sand Devils’ first out. Amaya Curley, hitting to the second baseman, was thrown out at first.
Samone Smith hit a single in the gap between the second baseman and center field, which brought in the two runners on second and third. The inning ended with a pop-up to the pitcher, but the Sand Devils had scored four runs and took a two-run lead.
The Sand Devils added another run to their lead in the next inning which came off a Blake double scoring Amber Seschili.   
The Sand Devils infield showed their defensive chops during the fourth inning when a Scouts batter knocked one to Curley at second base who scooped it up and tossed it to her shortstop Keilonna Whitehair who stepped on second and threw out the batter running to first.
The top of the fifth inning belonged to Blake who struck out the first two batters and fielded a hot grounder from the third batter and threw her out at first.
But the Fighting Scouts fought back in the sixth and seventh innings, adding three more runs to tie the game at five. The Sand Devils failed to score any runs in the seventh, which sent the game into extra innings.
Utilizing the international tie-breaker rule, the team at bat begins the inning with a runner on second base to improve their chances of scoring, but the Scouts failed to capitalize on this advantage.
But the Sand Devils did not.
They started the bottom of the eighth inning with Seschili, their fastest base-runner, on second base. Beard was first at bat who advanced her teammate to third base on a sacrifice fly.
Next at bat was Christina Lucero, who brought Seschili home when she hit a double deep into the outfield.
Game over.


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