Turns out it was considerably more difficult for the Basha to get into the double-elimination part of the Division I softball state tournament than it was to get the first victory once the Bears got here.
After staying alive in the tournament with a one-run victory over Perry on Tuesday, the No. 1-seeded Bears pounded No. 8 Peoria Centennial, 11-0, in five innings, Thursday at Rose Mofford Sports Complex.
Basha faces Glendale Mountain Ridge in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Rose Mofford, where the Bears won, 6-0, against the Mountain Lions in early April.
Centennial falls into the loser's bracket and faces Gilbert on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Basha hit three home runs in the first inning and never looked back. The Bears advance to the quarterfinals and will face Glendale Mountain Ridge at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Catcher Hailee Siroky, who hit a three-run home run in the first inning and added an RBI single in the second, couldn't remember a time this season when the Bears hit two home runs in an inning.
“Her ball was flat and didn’t have any spin and wasn’t really fast,” Siroky said of Centennial pitcher Paige Mills.
With one out, Hailey Maher homered to center, pitcher Kailey Regester then homered, again over the center field fence. After Kylie Shull reached on an error and Teresa Asta walked, Siroky hit another blast over the center field fence, her fourth homer of the season.
“This is what we do in practice and we actually did it in a game,” Regester said.
Basha (31-5) got a lot of help from Mills and fellow pitcher Hannah Andersen in the second inning. After Mills walked three straight batters, in came Andersen who hit Shull with a pitch to score one run. She then walked in another.
Siroky then singled home Regester and Nicole Matta doubled home two more runs to make it 11-0 after two innings.
On the mound, Regester was in control the entire game. She allowed just three hits and struck out six in earning the five-inning victory.
She liked being staked to an early lead, but kept her focus.
“I don’t really like to change anything even if I have a lead,” Regester said. “I act like it’s a pressure situation."
Other than the first inning, Regester didn’t face more than four batters in any inning. The only time the Coyotes (27-6) got a running past first base was in the first.