No. 3 Sunnyside wins 6A thriller over No. 11 Tucson behind freshman Ashley Rosthenhausler

Sunnyside freshman Ashley Rosthenhausler is playing at the same high school her father Paul excelled as a pitcher (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

No. 3 Sunnyside pitcher/first baseman Ashley Rosthenhausler is among a group of talented freshmen in Southern Arizona who is a major contributor to her team’s success.

That was exemplified in her pitching and hitting performance in Thursday’s 3-2 victory over No. 11 Tucson High in an epic game factoring into the 6A South race.

Rosthenhausler went 2 for 3 with the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning after hitting a single with one out to start the rally. She also started in the circle and scattered four hits in 4 1/3 innings while allowing no earned runs with two strikeouts and two walks.

“Never giving in, and working on my mentality a lot,” Rosthenhausler said about producing at a high level for a freshman. “I was having a little rough patch with my hitting. I just kept pushing through. It was never enough for me.

“I could hit a home run and want to hit it 100 times farther. It’s never enough.”

The Rosthenhausler name is historically synonymous with producing talent on the diamond at Sunnyside to a significant degree, sprouting from a family tree beginning with patriarchs Ramon and Sammy Rosthenhausler.

Ramon’s side:

  • Ray Jr. played baseball at Sunnyside and Pima, where he was named to the Junior College All-World Series Team in 1983. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1982, 1983 and 1984 and played with the organization for three years. Ray has the distinction of being drafted in the first round three times.
  • Greg played at Sunnyside, Pima and Cal Baptist.
  • Paul Jr. — Ashley’s father — pitched for Sunnyside and Arizona Western. His other children, Gabriel and Erik, also played at Sunnyside.
  • Rene and his daughter Adriana played at Sunnnyside. Adriana went on to Fort Lewis College where she was named to the all-tournament team for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 2014.

Sammy’s side:

  • Sam III played at Sunnyside, Cochise College and New Mexico Highlands.
  • Bobby Jr. played at Sunnyside, Cochise and Fort Hays State.
  • Jimmy Rosthenhausler, former Sunnyside basketball coach, had two sons who played at Sunnyside — Ryan and Greg.

“Coming from a big softball and baseball name it kind of doesn’t put pressure but it makes me want to be better than the rest of them,” Ashley said. “I want to be as good as I possibly can be. Pitching for Sunnyside, I honestly really love it.

“My dad came to this school. He pitched here. I just like making history and having fun.”

Ashley is among a high level of Class of 2026 Southern Arizona talent that includes these players leading their team to potentially the upcoming state playoffs:

— Sabino catcher/first baseman Lilly Mann of the No. 1 team in 3A.

— Cienega pitcher Maya Fimbres, pitcher Kylie Bristol, catcher Alli Mullen and utility player Micaela Valenzuela of the No. 10 team in 5A.

— Mica Mountain pitcher/infielder Acelynnrose Heston of the No. 8 team in 4A.

— Sahuarita utility player Ellie Romero and pitcher Jayd Villa of the No. 9 team in 4A.

— Rio Rico utility player Kenia Navarro of the No. 10 team in 4A.

— St. David pitcher Paisley Gooding, outfielder Jasmine Wise and third baseman Emelynn Jacquez of the No. 4 team in 1A.

— Walden Grove sisters Natalie Holzer (catcher) and Maddie Holzer (pitcher/infielder) of the No. 15 team in 4A.

Marana second baseman/pitcher Bella Corona is another Class of 2026 prospect to watch.

Rosthenhausler’s production has come on in the second half of the season, Sunnyside coach Ruben Cazares said, after she became acclimated to the high school level. She has primarily played for Desert Thunder’s club team with her father as the head coach before this season. She will continue to be part of that team until she is 18.

“She was a little timid coming in because it was a whole different setting for her,” said Cazares, who replaced legendary coach Pete Palomarez this season. “Club ball you get to only one hour and 15, an hour and 20, an hour and a half and you only get through four innings.

“She was struggling with that finishing, five, six, seven innings. We had to make the substitution through four innings (Thursday) because she was already gassed a little bit but she’s been working hard. She has been giving us more innings down the stretch of the season.”

Relieving Rosthenhausler in the fifth inning was last year’s freshman sensation — Tatyana Vega, who allowed only one hit in the last 2 2/3 innings with two strikeouts and no walks. She retired the side in the seventh inning to secure the win.

Sunnyside opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when Natalya Rivera doubled in Alyssa Lopez, who led off with a single.

Rivera, who moved to third base on a fielding error, later scored on a fielder’s choice ground out to make it 2-0.

The Pima College signee who plays third base went 2 for 3 with an RBI.

“This group is coming together a lot,” said Rivera, who was on Sunnyside’s team last year that advanced to the semifinals of the 6A state tournament. “I know there are new girls coming on but we’ve jelled together and our chemistry is way beyond … We all just want it more. Every at-bat, every play, we’ve always wanted more.”

Rosthenhausler engaged in a pitcher’s duel with Tucson High starter Alyssa Torres from there with the Badgers not scoring until the top of the third inning when Monica Robles, who reached on an error to start the inning, scored on a groundout to first base.

The game became tied at 2 with two outs in the top of the fourth when Nana Lesley ran home on a wild pitch. The two previous batters failed to get runs across with squeeze-bunt attempts.

Ashley Rosthenhausler with batterymate Aaliyah Meza (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Rosthenhausler scored the go-ahead run after she hit a single and Leylanni Lopez followed with a single with one out in the bottom of the sixth. When the next batter struck out, Lopez was caught in a pickle between first and second. Rosthenhausler saw that and continued racing from second to home plate and was safe.

The victory evened the season series at one win apiece. Tucson beat Sunnyside 8-5 on April 10 at Cherry Field. The Badgers could have won the 6A South title with a win. The teams finished as co-champions with a 5-1 record in region play.

“It’s huge, we needed to split with them; we couldn’t give up the game and the region that way,” Cazares said. “The girls fought. It was a tough game for both of us. We both were trying to give it away (with errors and base-running miscues). We managed to stay the fight and get the victory.”


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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