Little League Softball

San Xavier stays alive in Arizona Little League Juniors state tournament

San Xavier’s Isabel Valenzuela pitched a one-hitter to lead her team to the win over Thornydale (Javier Morales/

San Xavier Little League’s Isabel Valenzuela recorded two hits and pitched a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts in a 2-1 win over Thornydale on Wednesday in an Arizona Little League State Juniors elimination bracket game at Arthur Pack Regional Park.

Casey Antone also produced two hits with a run in the victory.

San Xavier will play Chino Valley in the elimination-bracket final on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Chino Valley lost to Gilbert 6-4 on Wednesday.

The winner of the San Xavier-Chino Valley game will play Gilbert in the championship round Friday at 5 p.m.

San Xavier’s Isabel Valenzuela slides safely home with the go-ahead run in the sixth (Javier Morales/

Arianna Fimbres of Thornydale put her team on the scoreboard first leading off the bottom of the first inning with a single and scoring on a ground out by Isabel Brown after stealing second and third base.

Antone led off the fourth for San Xavier with a single and later scored on an error following two groundouts that move her to third.

San Xavier took the 2-1 lead after Valenzuela started the sixth inning with a single and moved to third on Viviete Armenta’s double. With two outs, Valenzuela ran home on a passed ball to put San Xavier ahead.

Thornydale’s Giselle Valdez struck out 10 batters in a complete-game performance (Javier Morales/

Valenzuela pitched the seven innings in 92 pitches allowing the one hit to Fimbres. She also had only one walk to go with her 10 strikeouts.

Thornydale’s Giselle Valdez also pitched a complete game and struck out 10 and walked two while allowing six hits and two unearned runs.

Arizona Little League State Seniors Tournament

Sunnyside’s Mia Lopez is greeted at home by her teammates after hitting a two-run home run (Javier Morales/

Winslow rallied from a 9-3 deficit with a 13-run rally in the fourth in which it went through the order twice in a 29-15 win over Sunnyside on Wednesday night in the winner’s bracket final of the Arizona Little League State Seniors Tournament at Arthur Pack.

Sunnyside will play in the elimination-bracket final on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. against Sierra Vista, which lost 20-7 to Winslow in the opening-round game Tuesday.

Winslow advances to the title game Friday at 5 p.m. and will play the winner of Sunnyside and Sierra Vista. Sunnyside or Sierra Vista will have to beat Winslow twice to claim the championship.

Mia Palomarez is part of the legendary Palomarez softball/baseball family from Sunnyside (Javier Morales/

Sunnyside did not play in a district tournament, which means Tuesday night’s game was its first together after practicing for more than a month.

“We have to be in it from the get-go and not get down ourselves,” Sunnyside manager Leo Valenzuela said. “The game got away from us. A good group of girls, though. We have to keep our head in it and come back and play strong against Sierra Vista and take two games on Friday.”

Every player in Sunnyside’s lineup had at least one hit and run with Mia Lopez and Joanna Romero totaling three each.

Sunnyside manager Leo Valenzuela holds a postgame meeting with his players (Javier Morales/

Lopez, who had three RBIs, belted a two-run home run and had two doubles, and Romero (two RBIs) also had a double.

Those with at least one hit and one run for Sunnyside also included Aaliyan Tatum, Destiney Aguirre, Aaliyah Meza, Mia Palomarez, Desarey Martinez, Adrianna Soto, Jazlynn Othon and Mia Ballesteros.

Winslow’s top players were Kendra Ybarra (three hits, four runs and two RBIs), Kyah Wilcox (four hits, three runs and two RBIs), Lianya Brown (three hits, four runs and two RBIs) and Novalee Ragnoli (two hits, four runs and five RBIs, including a grand slam).


Arthur Pack Regional Park

Wednesday, July 7

G3: Gilbert 6, Chino Valley 4
e-G4: San Xavier 2, Thornydale 1

Thursday, July 8

e-G5: San Xavier vs. Chino Valley, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, July 9

G6: Championship — Gilbert vs. G5 winner, 5 p.m.
G7: Championship — If G5 winner wins G6, 7:30 p.m.


Arthur Pack Regional Park

Wednesday, July 7

G2: Winslow 29, Sunnyside 14

Thursday, July 8

e-G3: Sierra Vista vs. Sunnyside, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, July 9

G4: Championship — Winslow vs. G3 winner, 5 p.m.
G5: Championship — If G3 winner wins G4, 7:30 p.m.

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! 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, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, 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. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District

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