ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Ashley Hansen: The Tempe Corona del Sol catcher went 5-for-5 last week and drove in 10 runs in the Aztecs’ 22-0 win over Phoenix Central. Hansen hit for the cycle and her fifth hit was a grand slam. The Stanford-bound senior backstop is having another solid year in concluding one of the best prep careers one could have playing the sport.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
Hansen begged coach Jeep Ray to let her swing away on her final time up at the plate in the aforementioned game against Central. Ray was trying to keep the score down against the overmatched Bobcats, but the circumstances were unique.
“She said, “Coach I’ve never had a cycle,” Ray said.
Hansen was 4-for-4 with two singles, a double and triple when she came to bat a final time with the bases loaded. To get the cycle she needed a homer. And whack, she got it.
Scottsdale Desert Mountain coach Rick Sharp thinks he has a pretty decent team with two solid pitchers in Meredith Whitney and Alex Landon. The Wolves are 11-6 overall, but face a daunting task for the remainder of the season in the pitching rich Desert Valley Region where Phoenix St. Mary’s’ Dallas Escobedo, Phoenix Xavier’s Stephanie Janes and Glendale Mountain Ridge’s Stefanie Bolt reside. Bolt entered the week with 146 strikeouts in 87 innings. Janes had 143 Ks in 100 innings and Escobedo, the reigning Tribune Player of the Year, is off the charts for the 13-2 Knights.
Tucson Canyon del Oro brought standout junior pitcher Kenzie Fowler to Desert Mountain’s tournament Wednesday, but she did not pitch in the Dorados’ two tournament games (a win over Yuma Kofa and a loss to Desert Mountain).
CDO returns today for a tourney doubleheader playing Gilbert Mesquite at 3 p.m. and Phoenix St. Mary’s at 7 p.m. Many are expecting a showdown in the last pool game between St. Mary’s Escobedo and Fowler.
MORE ON MESQUITE
Speaking of Mesquite, with Gilbert Highland’s Talor Haro still sidelined from pitching, Mesquite may be the team to beat in the Fiesta. Coach Jeff Shufelt’s squad has displayed decent pitching led by sophomore Lexis Townsend and a power threat in sophomore Alexis Lawton (three homers and 16 RBI).
Today is the final day of pool play in the Wolves Invitational at Horizon Park. After today’s games the tournament turns to bracket play for Saturday. The top eight teams compete on Saturday in the championship bracket; teams 9-16 are in the consolation bracket and teams 17-20 get an extra couple games on Saturday at Desert Mountain High School. Look for St. Mary’s, Canyon del Oro, Corona del Sol, Mesa Red Mountain, Tucson Sabino, Paradise Valley, Desert Mountain, Glendale Cactus, Phoenix Pinnacle and perhaps Highland, Mesquite or Mesa to be among those playing in the championship bracket on Saturday. Through the first two days of play Cactus (3-0), Desert Mountain (2-0) and St. Mary’s (2-0) are the only unbeaten teams. Mesa is 2-1 and 11 teams are 1-1.