CDO freshman Amelia Streuber pitches Dorados to victory in 4A state playoffs

Four of the top freshmen pitchers in Southern Arizona are competing for their respective teams in the state tournaments this week, including a couple that were in the circle when Canyon del Oro hosted Sahuarita on Tuesday.

Sahuarita’s Brenna Figueroa (14-4, 2.97 ERA) started against the Dorados, who won the game 9-5 to advance to the third round of the winner’s bracket at the Rose Mofford Complex.

CDO’s Amelia Streuber (9-3, 2.16) provided a sense of comfort to her team despite her young age, entering the game with two outs in the second inning and the Dorados trailing 4-1.

The other two freshman standout pitchers who are statistically among the best in the state are Sunnyside’s Tatyana Vega (16-2, 2.25) and Sabino’s Avery Nielson (4-1, 2.48).

“I always know that my team has my back so obviously I’m nervous, but I just know that if the ball gets hit to them or if we ever go back in the dugout and we’re down by couple of runs, we always come back,” said Streuber.

The third-seeded Dorados (32-3) will play No. 7 Mingus Union (21-9) at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The Marauders upset No. 2 Phoenix Greenway 6-4 on Tuesday.

No. 6 Sahuarita (26-6-1) will play at Greenway (26-4) on Thursday at 4 p.m. in an elimination-bracket game.

Streuber did not allow an earned run and scattered four hits in her 5 1/3 innings while striking out five and walking two.

After Sahuarita rallied for four runs in the second inning to take a 4-1 lead, Streuber was put into the circle by legendary coach Kelly Fowler, who is seeking her fourth state championship as CDO’s coach.

“She was just telling me I got it,” Streuber said of her conversation with Fowler when going to the circle. “No pressure. We were down by a couple of runs but she knew we were going to come back. She’s always very confident in us and always very positive.”

Streuber ended Sahuarita’s rally in the second inning by striking out the first batter she faced with two runners on.

Amelia Streuber (70) settled things down for CDO in the last 5 1/3 innings against Sahuarita (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

“We have four pitchers on our staff and they’re all very, very good and they have their own special gift,” Fowler said. “At that moment, I felt like we needed a different look. That was the gameplan any way.

“We just brought her in a little bit earlier and she was ready to go. I had 100 percent faith in her. Actually, I have 100 percent faith in all four.”

The others are junior Sydnee Wendel (9-0, 1.17 ERA), sophomore Destanee Nez (10-0, 2.85) and senior Julia Holt (4-0, 2.19). They are a combined 32-3 with a 2.10 ERA with 278 strikeouts and 58 walks in 500 innings. Only 29 of the 119 hits (24 percent) they have allowed have been for extra bases including not allowing a triple all season.

Streuber’s calming influence of the last 5 1/3 innings against Sahuarita was buoyed by CDO immediately answering the Mustangs’ four-run second with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by Naya Campos’ three-run home run.

CDO was able to cash two Sahuarita errors in for a run to cut the lead to 4-2 before Campos connected on her seventh home run of the season, a shot to right field that fought through the wind to make it well over the fence for the 5-4 lead.

“It means a lot coming into my team going crazy (at home plate),” said Campos, who is headed to Georgetown on a softball scholarship. “Every at-bat I do it for them. I want to be the one who makes my team go crazy. It’s so fun to see us all celebrate and see the game change with our momentum on that.”

Holt, daughter of the late Julius Holt, a longtime youth-sports community activist who passed away recently, engineered another run in the fourth with a double down the left-field line to start the inning.

Taya Kelly pinch-ran for Holt and moved to second on a perfectly-laid bunt by Streuber. Bella Beauchamp followed with a single to score Kelly to give CDO a 6-4 lead.

The Dorados rallied for three insurance runs in the fifth after consecutive singles by Megan Clark, Lauren Newlin and Faith Valenzuela loaded the bases with no outs. Alina Felix then hit an RBI single. Another run scored on an error before Streuber brought home the third run on a double.

“We have nine seniors and I don’t think we’ve ever had nine seniors who all start,” said Fowler, whose daughter Kenzie Fowler is a CDO and Arizona pitching legend. “They’ve talked about this since they were freshmen. They’ve veen preparing themselves for this moment.

“I just have to make sure I don’t get in their way.”

Campos, Zaedi Tagalog, Newlin and Holt each had two hits to lead CDO’s 13-hit attack.

Sahuarita’s Mallory Wrobel and Maria Lerma led the Mustang lineup, each going 2 for 4.


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. 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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