May 14, 2004
So much for the predictions that the 5A Southern and Central regions would be the most likely to succeed in the 2004 state softball tournament.
Instead Glendale Deer Valley and Peoria Sunrise Mountain decided Thursday this year’s matchup should be a westside story.
Deer Valley brought the heavy lumber for the second day in a row, pounding out three home runs and nine extra-base hits to eliminate surprising Dobson, 10-3, in one of the semifinals at the Rose Mofford Sports Complex.
In the other, Desert West Region champ Sunrise Mountain built a 3-0 lead and topped tournament favorite Tucson Flowing Wells and Desiree Williams, 3-1, at Rose Mofford. Sophomore pitcher Jessica LaBovick fell an out short of blanking the Caballeros. Williams doubled in the seventh and scored on a sacrifice fly to avert a shutout. Deer Valley and Sunrise Mountain meet for the title tonight at 8 at Rose Mofford.
Deer Valley used two-out rallies in the third and fourth innings to score its first six runs (four in the third, two in the second). Skyhawks shortstop Courtney Shlee and first baseman Laine Roth combined for eight RBIs. Shlee hit a two-run homer to ignite the third-inning rally. Roth homered back-to-back in the third with Shlee and added a two-run double in the fourth and two-run homer in the sixth. The four-run sixth finally seemed to dampen the high spirits of upset-minded Dobson, which had cut a 6-0 deficit to 6-3. That was due to a two-run single by Angelica Espinoza, who scored the third run after the hit on a two-base throwing error. Espinoza, Felicia Coffey and Ashley Schroeder had two hits apiece for Dobson.
Dobson (18-20) was trying to pull off what Marcos de Niza did last year as a No. 3 seed from a region (Central). Marcos advanced to the title game as a No. 3, eventually falling to Corona del Sol in the title game.
The Mustangs were the East Valley Region’s No. 3 seed heading into this year's tournament. They blasted Peoria 8-1 in the first round, stunned Mesquite 6-1 on Tuesday and turned some sloppy fielding by Tucson Salpointe Wednesday into a game-turning six-run rally in the sixth inning of an 8-7 triumph over the Lancers.