SOFTBALL: HORIZON CLIPS HAMILTON, STAYS UNBEATEN IN DMTN INVITE

SOFTBALL: HORIZON CLIPS HAMILTON, STAYS UNBEATEN IN DMTN INVITE

Horizon’s softball team hasn’t been pushed in many games thus far this season — two to be exact — in a 12-0 start.

One of those came Thursday afternoon, but the Lady Huskies showed some mettle in the seventh inning to pull out a 4-2 victory over Hamilton on the third day of pool play in the Desert Mountain Invitational Softball Tournament at Horizon Park.

Horizon ran its pool play record in the tourney to 3-0, but needed a two-out, noone on rally in the seventh to knock off Hamilton.

T Statman began the Lady Huskies winning rally innocently enough, getting plunked by the first pitch she saw from Hamilton’s Cheyenne Noli. Gabby Moreno followed with a bloop fly to short right field that fell for her third hit of the game. Hamilton attempted to throw Statman out at third, but the throw was short and caromed into foul territory in left field. Statman scored  and Moreno ended up at second. Hot-hiiting Kaila Jacobi then laced a single to right to score Moreno for the final 4-2 advantage.

Statman, who tossed two shutouts on Wednesday with one of those a five-inning perfect game, pitched a 1-2-3 seventh. Statman allowed seven hits, no walks and fanned eight.

Hamilton played small ball in the fourth to rally from a 2-0 deficit, which caused Horizon some problems. Hamilton got RBI from Nicole Spykstra and Valerie Holguin to even the game. In the fourth, Hamilton sent up left-handed pinch hitters and bunted three times. The bunts produced two sacrifces and a hit. Horizon got its first two runs in the first inning on a two-run homer to dead-centerfield by Makenna Woods, an inning the Lady Huskies hit Noli the hardest. A double play in the inning kept it from being a bigger rally.

“This was the best pitching we’ve seen so far,” Horizon coach Jackie Coburn said. “It  was a good test to see how we’d respond in a tight game. We’ve been good making things happen. They made their adjustments as the game went along, and we came back with a nice rally.”

A two-win team Thursday that moved to 3-0 in pool play was Pinnnacle. Pinnacle blanked Mesa Mtn. View, 18-0, and followed up with a 5-3 win over Red Mountain. A five-run fourth inning did the trick vs. Red Mountain. A two-run double by speedy, defensive-minded shortstop Karlee Johnson was the big hit in the frame. Kourtney Pock also drove in a run in the inning.

Heading to Friday’s final day of pool play, six teams are undefeated — Mountain Ridge, Corona del Sol, Pinnacle and Horizon at 3-0 and Sahuaro and Ironwood Ridge at 2-0. Action Friday begins at noon with games also at 2, 4 and 6.