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El Rio wins 12U Baja championship; 10U title up for grabs tonight

El Rio 12U Champions (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

MONDAY, JUNE 18

10U SEMIFINALS
El Rio 10, Las Ninas 2
Oro Valley 13, Sahuaro 10

12U CHAMPIONSHIP
El Rio 11, Sahuaro 3

TUESDAY, JUNE 19

10 U CHAMPIONSHIP
El Rio vs. Oro Valley, Udall 7 p.m.

Eva Hammond (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

El Rio scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning to break up a 1-1 tie and the team from Juhan Park never looked back and pulled away for a 11-3 victory over Sahuaro in the Baja Fastpitch 12U championship Monday night at Udall Park.

Dyani Stoddard singled and scored on an error to give El Rio a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first but Mckenzie Hunt doubled in Paige Brady to tie the game up 1-1 in the second. Jaelyn Cota hit a 2-RBI double in the bottom of the third and Jordan Jackson knocked Cota in to make it 4-1 El Rio.

El Rio scored five in the fourth and two more in the fifth while Sahuaro added one run in the fifth and another in the sixth for the 11-3 final.

“I felt like we had each other’s backs,” said El Rio starting pitcher Ava Hammond. “We hit well, we fielded and I felt I had the pitches I needed.”

An eighth grader at Miles-Exploratory Learning Center, Hammond plays for the Suncats organization.

Dakota Fiore hit a triple for Sahuaro, Caryme Durazo went 2-for-3, Sicily Waller had an RBI single, Brady had her RBI single, Hunt had her RBI double and Aubree Totten picked up a hit. Cristina Leon, Annie Dojaquez and Totten saw pitching time for Sahuaro.

Destiny Medina went 3-4 with an RBI to help lead El Rio. Stoddard went 2-4, Hammond had an RBI single, Jianna Cota went 2-3, Jaelyn Cota went 2-4 with a 2-RBI double, Isabel Valenzuela had an RBI, Jackson went 2-3 with two RBI and Janae Peralta had an RBI single. Jaelyn Cota and Peralta also saw time in the circle for El Rio.

Sahuaro 12U (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com

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