What happened to the Corona del Sol softball team?
After its bats were shut down by Mountain Pointe's Kari Quinn and Marcos de Niza's Brittany Kessler in region losses over the past two weeks, fans of Class 5A softball were wondering what happened to the potent attack of No. 3 Corona del Sol.
The Aztecs' bats broke out of a mini-slump Tuesday afternoon with 12 hits and they wrestled back the top spot in the Central Region with a 5-2 victory over No. 5 Desert Vista at Corona.
The win marked the third time this season and the second in region play that Corona (23-3, 5-2) has defeated the Thunder (20-5, 5-2). The teams will meet one more time in region play, May 1 at Desert Vista, in a meeting Thunder coach Steve Glass is billing as "The Showdown at Desert Vista."
Whitney Lebowitz, Megan Hansen and Lisa Jones singled before Katie Logan and Stephanie Brown tripled in consecutive at bats to fuel a four-run Aztecs second inning off Thunder right-hander Jill Zinkie (13-4). Corona right-hander Michelle Farrell was perfect through three innings and struggled through the middle innings but settled down for a seven-hit victory.
"What sums this up is we had one bad inning, again, against them and you can't do that against a good team," Glass said. "You just can't be dishing it up against a good hitting team like that."
Corona coach Jeep Ray missed two games last week because of family matters, but upon her return she met a fired-up team.
"I think they had a really good practice yesterday and they came into my office today and let me know how well they did," Ray said. "I told them that we needed to play a good game today, and they said, 'We're ready, Coach.' This was one of our best hitting games because everybody hit consecutively."
Singles by Lebowitz, Betty Tameron and Jones (RBI) extended the Corona lead to 5-0 in the third, but Bridget McNulty drove a towering double to score Zinkie in the fourth. The Thunder started to figure Farrell out and singles by Courtney Bruns, Emily Glass and Meredith Drahota trimmed the lead to 5-2 and put runners on first and third with one out.
But the Thunder rally and hopes of a comeback fizzled when Colleen Conlin bounced a high chopper to third. Jones charged the ball and threw to first for the out. Glass, however, hesitated at third and was thrown out at the plate by Hansen from first base.