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Wild rallies help Pima softball sweep Mesa, earn spot in Region I tournament

The Pima Community College softball team (29-26, 25-23 in ACCAC) pulled off two come-from-behind victories on Saturday to close out the regular season in dramatic fashion and earn the final spot in the NJCAA Region I, Division I Tournament.

There were plenty of standouts on offense for the Aztecs. Sophomore Alese Casper’s day consisted of going 7 for 8 with four RBIs, four runs scored a walk and a triple. Freshman Amaya Turner-Vizcarra (Tucson HS) did much of her damage in the second game as she was 5 for 7 with five RBIs and four runs scored.

Game 1: Pima CC Aztecs 10, Mesa CC Thunderbirds 9 (8 innings): Freshman Hope Adams (Benson HS) fouled off three pitches before hitting a walk-off RBI double to left field with two outs to score sophomore Devynn Marshall (Shadow Ridge HS) as the Aztecs rallied off four runs in the 8th to win it.

Down 9-6 in the bottom half of the inning, sophomore Janice Garcia (Rio Rico HS) hit an RBI single to plate sophomore Jessica Lozania (Sahuarita HS). Casper hit an RBI single with one out to score Garcia. Marshall followed with an RBI double to tie the game at 9-9.

Turner-Vizcarra (Tucson HS) forced the extra frame after she hit a sacrifice-fly RBI to score Adams which tied it at 6-6 in the 7th inning.

Casper put the Aztecs on the board in the 2nd inning with a two-run RBI single as she finished 4 for 5 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Marshall went 3 for 5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Garcia was 1 for 3 with an RBI and two runs while Lozania finished 1 for 2 with three runs scored.

Freshman Abril Nerey (Rio Rico HS) picked up the win (8-9) as she pitched three innings, giving up four runs (none earned) on four hits with one strikeout. Freshman Bianca Castillo (Rio Rico HS) earned her first save of the season as she pitched five innings, giving up four runs (four earned) on six hits with three strikeouts and one walk.

MCC   0 0 0 0 4 2 0 3    9  10 3

PCC    0 2 0 1 0 2 1 4   10 14 3

Game 2: Pima CC Aztecs 11, Mesa CC Thunderbirds 9: The Aztecs surrendered eight runs in the 5th inning but rallied back from a six-run deficit with four runs in each the 5th and 6th innings to seal it.

Sophomore Maria Vanezza Caldera (Tucson HS) tied the game at 9-9 in the 6th inning with a two-run homer driving in Casper, who had led off the inning with a single. Sophomore Alizea Durazo-Corday doubled and with two outs, Turner-Vizcarra hit an RBI double to give the Aztecs a 10-9 lead. She would later score on an error.

The Aztecs trailed 9-3 heading into the bottom of the 5th inning. Casper hit a leadoff triple and Marshall followed with an RBI single. Turner-Vizcarra hit a two-run RBI triple that drove in Marshall and Durazo-Corday. Lozania capped off the inning with an RBI single to bring in Turner-Vizcarra. The Aztecs trailed 9-7 at that point.

Turner-Vizcarra hit an RBI double in the 2nd inning as she finished a perfect 4 for 4 at the plate with four RBIs and three runs scored. Casper finished a flawless 3 for 3 with two runs scored and a walk. Lozania and Garcia each were 2 for 4 with an RBI. Caldera was 1 for 3 with three RBIs and a run scored.

Casper picked up her 10th win on the mound (10-5) in a relief appearance. She pitched the final two and one-third innings, giving up two hits with one strikeout.

MCC   1 0 0 0 8 0 0    9  12 2

PCC    0 2 1 0 4 4 x   11 16 1

The No. 4 seeded Aztecs will open the NJCAA Region I, Division I Tournament on Friday when they play No. 1 Arizona Western College in the double elimination tournament. First pitch will be at 11 a.m. All games will be played at Arizona Western College in Yuma.

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Photo by Raymond Suarez

The Aztecs softball team recognized their six sophomores after sweeping Mesa Community College and earning the final spot in the NJCAA Region I, Division I Tournament next week in Yuma. They finished the regular season at 29-26 overall and 25-23 in ACCAC conference play. (Left to right): Jessica Lozania, Maria Vanezza Caldera, Devynn Marshall, Ariana Gomez, Alizea Durazo-Corday, Janice Garcia and Alese Casper.

Game 1: Pima CC Aztecs 10, Mesa CC Thunderbirds 9 (8 innings)

Game 2: Pima CC Aztecs 11, Mesa CC Thunderbirds 9