Tucson’s 15-game winning streak was snapped last night in a 2-1 loss to No. 1 Pinnacle in a 6A state tournament game but the 12th-seeded Badgers are still alive as they face Yuma Cibola in a double-elimination bracket game tonight at the Rose Mofford Sports Complex in Phoenix.
The Badgers (17-8) scored one run in the first but the lead did not hold against Pinnacle, which scored runs in the fourth and sixth innings in the game played at Rose Mofford.
Tucson can have a rematch with Pinnacle on Friday night at 5:15 at Rose Mofford if the Badgers can get by Cibola tonight at 6:30. They would have to beat Pinnacle (24-3) twice on Friday to reach the state championship game on Monday night at ASU.
Tucson is led by junior first baseman Carlie Scupin, who is batting .677 with 16 home runs and 40 RBIs. She verbally committed to Arizona when she was a freshman.
Other top performers: Alyssa Carpio (.539 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs), Kelli Samorano (.446 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs) and Alyssa Trejo (.600 with five home runs and 30 RBIs).
Ace pitcher Ana Rodriguez is 10-4 with a 3.43 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 24 walks in 69 1/3 innings.
In Class 4 A state baseball playoffs action tonight, No. 2 Salpointe Catholic (23-6) plays No. 6 Vista Grande (20-9) at Amphi at 6:30 p.m. in a rematch of their game at the same site last Wednesday in which the Lancers won 3-2. Salpointe will try to go 4-0 against Vista Grande this season.
In last week’s game, center fielder Ian Ponce went 3 for 3 with the game-winning RBI in the sixth inning. Romeo Ballesteros went 2 for 4 with a run and RBI as well.
Right-hander Jaeden Swanberg (5-3, 3.37 ERA) is the likely starter tonight for Salpointe. He has 65 strikeouts and 35 walks in 52 innings.
Cade McGee leads Salpointe with a .456 batting average. He also leads the team in home runs (three), doubles (nine) and RBIs (24). He also has two saves this postseason in wins over Scottsdale Saguaro and Vista Grande.
If the Lancers win tonight, they advance to the state championship on Monday at Mesa’s Hohokam Park at 7 p.m.. If they lose, the Lancers will have a rematch with Vista Grande (most likely at Amphi) on Saturday for the right to play in the title game Monday.
Remaining softball and baseball playoff schedules for Southern Arizona teams (not including scheduling ramifications of tonight’s games involving Tucson softball and Salpointe baseball):
TODAY, MAY 8
SOFTBALL: 6A THIRD ROUND ELIMINATION
No. 12 Tucson vs. No. 6 Cibola, 6:30 p.m. at Phoenix Rose Mofford
BASEBALL: 4A SEMIFINALS
No. 2 Salpointe vs. No. 4 Vista Grande, 6:30 p.m. at Amphi
TOMORROW, MAY 9
BASEBALL: 5A SEMIFINAL
5A: No. 1 Nogales vs. No. 4 Desert Mountain, 6:30 p.m. at Tempe Diablo Stadium
SOFTBALL: 5A THIRD ROUND ELIMINATION
No. 3 Ironwood Ridge vs. No. 9 Willow Canyon, 6:30 p.m. at Phoenix Rose Mofford
No. 4 Sunnyside vs. No. 6 Empire, 6:30 p.m. at Amphitheater
FRIDAY, MAY 10
BASEBALL: 2A SEMIFINALS (Goodyear)
No. 3 Bisbee vs. No. 10 Morenci, 6:30 p.m.
BASEBALL: 1A SEMIFINALS (Goodyear)
No. 6 Baboquivari vs. No. 2 Mogollon, 6:30 p.m.
SOFTBALL: 2A SEMIFINALS (Phoenix Rose Mofford)
No. 1 Benson vs. No. 4 Morenci, 6:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, MAY 11
BASEBALL: 3A SEMIFINALS (Surprise)
No. 4 Sahuarita vs. No. 9 NW Christian, 6:30 p.m.
No. 6 Sabino vs. No. 2 ALA-QC, 6:30 p.m.
SOFTBALL: 4A SEMIFINALS (Phoenix Rose Mofford)
No. 1 Salpointe vs. Mingus Union-Bradshaw Mountain winner, 10 a.m.
No. 6 Canyon del Oro vs. Vista Grande-Cactus winner, 10 a.m.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.