Windy conditions carried into the second straight day at Scottsdale Community College Field as Mesa Community College attempted to upset the Artichokes, but it would be Scottsdale advancing Saturday with a 6-3 victory in the final of their Division II best-of-three baseball series.
Pitching dominated early and often as Scottsdale hurler Chris Neary and Mesa pitcher Justin Fitzpatrick dueled, both having quality starts.
Fitzpatrick flirted with disaster in the third inning, but the game went scoreless into the fourth.
Neary pitched eight-plus innings, giving up seven hits, three runs, four walks and 18 strikeouts.
Fitzpatrick went seven-plus innings, gave up three runs, all earned, scattered nine hits, walked two and struck out 11.
Scottsdale moves on to the districts in two weeks.
• Led by two homers by T.J. Steele and one by Brad Glenn, Arizona battered the Liberty pitching staff for 21 hits in a 16-3 win at Tucson as the Wildcats improved to 34-11 and the Flames dropped to 28-21.
The Wildcats scored four runs each in the first and third innings, before tacking on single run in the fourth, three in the fifth, one in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth.
• Three home runs, two from Mindy Cowles, and a three-hit shutout from Katie Burkhart launched the No. 9 Sun Devil softball team past the No. 18 Oregon Ducks 8-0 in six innings Saturday afternoon in Eugene, Ore. The Sun Devils are now 47-13 overall and 11-6 in conference play, while Oregon falls to 39-16 overall and 4-13 in the Pac-10.
The Sun Devils started out on the right foot as they tacked one on the board in the first, with Cowles taking a 2-0 pitch deep to left field for her 13th home run of the season, giving the Devils a 1-0 lead.
• Phoenix College (53-13) is once again headed to the NJCAA national championships after defeating Mesa Community College (48-23) twice on Saturday in the Division II regionals at Phoenix College.
PC tallied five runs in the first inning of the day’s opening contest and held on for a 5-3 victory over the Thunderbirds.
Mesa then took on Chandler-Gilbert and downed the Coyotes for the sixth time this season, 12-4, to get to the title game.
In the championship game, Mesa’s Elena Marroquin hooked up in a pitcher’s duel against Courtney Crawford, with the Bears prevailing, 3-1.
• On the heels of dropping a heartbreaker to the Santa Barbara Breakers (4-4) on Friday, the Phoenix Flame (4-4) got a measure of revenge on Saturday, winning 107-106 with some late-game heroics of their own in an International Basketball League game.
Monte Jones hit a spinning lay-in with six seconds remaining to give the Flame a one-point edge. The lead would hold up, as the Breakers missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
James Singleton was the game’s top scorer, pouring in 30 points for the Flame.
On Friday, Del Summers led the Flame with 20 points in a 111-110 loss.
TRACK AND FIELD
• Jacquelyn Johnson, the defending champion in the women’s heptathlon, is in second place following the first day of action at the 2007 Pac-10 Multi Championships in Palo Alto, Calif.
Angela Piana is 11th in the event.
On the men’s side, Joshua Kinnaman is in fifth place in the decathlon.
Johnson accumulated 3,523 points to trail leader Diana Pickler of Washington State by 63 points through four events while Piana, competing in her first collegiate heptathlon, has scored 2,744 points and stands 11th overall.
Johnson opened with 1,033 points in the 100-meter hurdles (13.62) to start in second place and remained there through the following three events with marks of 1.72 meters in the high jump, a personal-best 12.67 meters in the shot put and a time of 24.80 in the 200-meter dash.