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Tolleson goes 2-2 in Cool Nights tourney
Submitted by Shane McOwen on Wed, 03/15/2017 - 12:00am
Lady Wolverines on brink of getting to .500
Tolleson’s softball team inched closer to .500 with a strong performance at the Apollo Cool Nights Tournament March 7-10 at Apollo High School in Glendale.
The Lady Wolverines went 2-2 in the tournament, moving to 5-6 on the season. Tolleson opened the tournament against Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep, losing 5-4. The Lady Saints scored two in the bottom of the fifth to snatch the victory before the time limit was up. Each tournament game was capped at 75 minutes.
Tolleson rebounded in an early morning double header the next day, beating Laveen Betty H. Fairfax 6-5 and Phoenix Barry Goldwater 3-2. Tolleson scored a run in the bottom of the final inning before time ran out in each game.
Senior Norma Navarrette’s solo home run in the sixth inning proved to be the difference against Goldwater. She also had an RBI triple in the contest.
Tolleson’s tournament run came to an end with a loss at the hands of Prescott Valley Bradshaw Mountain, 8-7. Offense came in steady streams for both teams in the game. The Lady Bears and Lady Wolverines combined to score in seven of eight half-inning frames.
The close games were a departure from the norm for Tolleson. The Lady Wolverines have been involved in some wild affairs in the early portion of the season. Tolleson’s average margin of victory before the Cool Nights tournament was 9.33 runs in three games, while its margin of defeat was 10.75 in four games.
Tolleson first-year coach Ashley Schiele said the team showed good evidence of growth in the tournament.
“It was a lot of teamwork,” Schiele said. “We finally pulled it together. I know we struggled at the beginning of the season, but we finally pulled it together and realized we need to play as a team. We finally got those bats to work and got the defense behind us, which is a good confidence booster.”
Tolleson is in the midst of 11 consecutive days off from game action, which will give the team some practice time to build on its current run of form, Schiele said.
“I think we’re in a great spot,” she said. “I’m new this year, but people have told us that this is probably one of the best teams of the last few years for Tolleson. We’ve got some great hitting and some great defense, [and] we’ve got some depth.”
Schiele said the team continues to work toward its goal of making the playoffs, something the program hasn’t participated in since any of the current classes stepped on campus.
“I know we were one game short for playoffs last year,” she said. “I want to make it to at least the second round this year. We’re going to keep going all the way until they tell us to go home.”
If Tolleson wants to taste postseason glory, it’ll have to do it on the backs of its young squad. The Lady Wolverines roster has more underclassmen (four sophomores and four freshmen) than upperclassmen (three seniors and three juniors).
Schiele said the older girls, while fewer in numbers, have already exhibited strong leadership.
“All of our seniors in general, Josette [Valdez], Sirena [Rosalez] and Norma, they’re all great,” she said. “They get that defense started and are getting those hits in. I’ve got a lot of confidence in our seniors.”
Tolleson’s extended break will continue into next week. The Lady Wolverines will take the diamond March 21 against Phoenix Trevor Browne on the road.
Shane McOwen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ShaneMcOwen.
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