|Lila Rojas runs towards second. Lila tallied big hits to drive in runs and help Verde Valley comeback to win the game, after being down by as many as 10. VVN/Travis Guy|
|Boys Age 9, 10 Verde Valley Allstars vs Prescott Valley Allstars on Saturday, 6/22. Verde Valley was victorious, 5 to 17.|
Over at Riverfront Park in Cottonwood, the Verde Valley Little League is holding four all-star tournaments over the course of the week, and the Verde Valley teams reigned supreme following the second day of games.
The action that ended June 23's play featured two blowouts and a come from behind win.
The Verde Valley All-stars' 9-10 softball team faced off against Prescott Valley, a team they played the day before and blanked 3-0. Facing off against them once again in the semi-final/final for their bracket (if Verde Valley would have lost, they would have played each other again) Verde Valley made quick work of Prescott Valley.
After allowing 1-run in Prescott Valley's first at-bat, Verde Valley began to surge, scoring 8-runs in the first. In the second inning, Prescott Valley notched another run, and with two outs down, the player at third attempted to steal home, getting tagged out and putting a halt to any Prescott Valley comeback. Verde Valley had one more dominant at-bat the rest of the game, during the second inning the team drove in seven more runs, increasing its' lead to 15-2 and putting the game effectively out-of-reach for Prescott Valley. Prescott Valley would go on to bring in two more runs, the same as Verde Valley, but could not close the deficit and the game was called after four innings, 17-4.
Verde Valley All-Stars, 9-10, were playing at the field next to the girls, and while the games did not go down the same, the outcome was. Verde Valley toppled Sedona 17-4 in four innings. Verde Valley was able to exploit Sedona's pitching in the first and forced a change after tallying 6-runs. The boys would score one more before the inning was closed. At Sedona's next at bat, with the score 7-1 early in the game, the team loaded the bases with two outs. Hoping to start a rally, Sedona nailed a pitch, but it was not enough as Verde Valley was able to grab the ball and throw the runner out at first. The rest of the game was similar to the softball win. Sedona scored two more, but Verde Valley powered its' bats for 11-runs, ending the game in the fourth.
While the teams from those games were able to jump out and hold on to their lead, that was not the case for the Prescott Valley All-Stars major softball team. After two innings, Prescott Valley was up 12-4, and it seemed as though there would be another blowout win at Riverfront Park.
Prescott Valley was able to control the tempo of the game with pitching and good offense, while Verde Valley was looking shaken and was having a hard time with Prescott Valley's pitching. That all began to change in the third inning. Prescott Valley's pitching began to have trouble finding her spots and the Verde Valley defense started to come alive.
When Verde Valley stepped up to the plate for its' third at-bat, it was able to get the bases loaded and the first run of the inning was scored after being walked in. After that run, Verde Valley chipped away at the score, rallying for 6-runs in the third and forcing the game to go the full six innings. Prescott Valley increased its' lead to four after batting in 2-runs, but Verde Valley fought in the fourth inning and was able to tie the game.
With the score knotted at 14, both teams commenced a back-and-forth offensive effort that had each team taking the lead, then the other team tying it up. By the sixth inning, Verde Valley was ahead 20-19. They were not able to hold Prescott Valley during the final inning, letting 2-runs go. With the score 21-20, Verde Valley and Prescott Valley both knew what their teams had to do.
Prescott Valley switched up its' pitchers in the fifth inning, and the new girl was doing a good job of finding her spots. Unfortunately, with her team up by 1-run, she threw two wild pitches with runners on third base both times, allowing the Verde Valley majors softball team to ice the game and move on to the next round.