2024 Baseball

Tucson High softball & baseball earn 6A South title with victories over Sunnyside

Tucson’s Sofie Trejo hit a game-winning two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th for Tucson in its 6-4 win over Sunnyside (Stephanie van Latum/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

Cherry Field became somewhat of a cheery field for the Tucson softball and baseball programs on Thursday night.

Some of the Badger baseball players joined hands standing while facing each other to form a tunnel for the Badgers’ softball team to run through in celebration of their dramatic 11th-inning victory over Sunnyside for the 6A South title.

About a half-hour after Tucson’s baseball team beat Sunnyside 9-1 for a region championship of its own at Cherry Field, the Badgers’ Sofie Trejo belted a two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the 11th to beat the Blue Devils 6-4.

The home run, on a 1-2 count, cleared the left field fence.

Jiselle Nuñez walked before Trejo’s home run, the fifth of the season for junior.

The victory occurred 10 days after Tucson won at Sunnyside 6-5 in eight innings.

Tucson is 22-5 overall and 5-1 in the 6A South while Sunnyside is 19-7 and 4-2.

“I was really happy; I was looking for that one (pitch) all day,” said Trejo, who finished 3 for 5. “I was really happy I could get into one and help my team.”

Tucson rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh on back-to-back home runs by Jaliyah Grigsby and Nuñez to force extra innings.

Sunnyside led the entire game before that rally after taking a 3-0 lead in the third inning.

“This team, everyone in the lineup can hit the long ball,” Tucson first-year coach Andy Camen said. “That’s the dangerous thing about this lineup. Typically, 3-4-5 (in the lineup) are who you worry about — 6-7-8-9 can do it.

“It’s just trusting in them. Trying to get them to trust in themselves and make sure they’re putting good swings on the ball. It’s all on them. Batting practice is fun. You should see batting practice. There’s more balls outside the fence than inside the fence.”

Tucson’s three home runs on Thursday gives the Badgers 23 for this season, led by five by Trejo and Grigsby. Nuñez has four and Alma Teillon and Aaliyah Julio have three.

Sunnyside and Tucson are as close as their 6A power ratings in the state.

The Blue Devils were ranked No. 10 and Badgers No. 11 entering Thursday’s game.

In their two games, totaling 19 innings, Tucson has outscored Sunnyside 12-9.

Tucson senior Jorgina Gant and Sunnyside junior Tatyana Vega, who both attended Gallego Intermediate before their high school careers, are two of the better pitchers in the state who have gone the distance in both games.

Gant allowed 12 hits and three earned runs with 11 strikeouts and three walks on Thursday.

Vega countered with 12 strikeouts in her 10 2/3 innings. Tucson managed to produce 10 hits and walk nine times.

Gant, bound for Jackson State, held Sunnyside scoreless with only two hits over the last six innings after Sunnyside built a 4-1 lead going to the bottom of the fifth following Amerika Lopez’s home run in the top half of the inning.

The back-to-back home runs by Grigsby and Nuñez led off the seventh for Tucson and Vega managed to get through the rest of the inning, capped by striking out the last batter.

Tucson’s 11th-inning rally started after the first two batters popped out. Nuñez then worked the count full before walking. Trejo followed with her home run on the 1-2 count, which started with two foul balls.

Sunnyside’s regular season is complete while Tucson will play a non-region game at Mountain View on Monday.

Conference play-in games for teams rated Nos. 9-24 are Wednesday. The top eight teams receive byes until the state playoffs begin next Saturday.

Tucson’s baseball team avenged a 10-5 loss at Sunnyside last week with its victory Thursday.

The Badgers, who have been beset by injuries this season, are 16-9 overall and 5-1 in the 6A South. Sunnyside is 17-9 and 4-2.

Tucson rallied for seven runs in the third inning behind three two-run doubles by Gennaro Brito, Tenochtli Nepan Ollin and Sebastian Piño.

Juan Hernandez capped the scoring with an RBI triple. Hernandez started the inning with a double.

Tucson’s Guero Hernandez, a senior right-hander, improved to 7-2 with a 1.73 ERA. He allowed six hits in five innings with three strikeouts and three walks.

Abran Vergara pitched two innings of scoreless relief, allowing two hits with one walk and one strikeout.

Tucson completes its regular season with a non-region game at Mountain View on Monday.

Sunnyside’s regular season is complete.

The Blue Devils are rated No. 18 in the latest power rankings while Tucson is No. 14.

The top eight teams receive byes to the first round next Saturday while those seeded Nos. 9-24 will play in the play-in games starting Wednesday.


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 in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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