Little League Softball

San Xavier All-Stars rally to win District 12 8-10 softball championship

San Xavier beat Copper Hills in the best-of-three District 12 8-10 softball championship series and will now head to the state tournament that starts July 8 (Javier Morales/

San Xavier Little League’s 8-10 all-star softball team rallied behind the batting and pitching of Aaliyah Martinez and power hitting of Idalis Acevedo to beat Copper Hills 12-2 in five innings on Monday in the final game of the District 12 championship series.

San Xavier won the best-of-three series in the deciding Game 3 at Anamax Park in Sahuarita.

The District 12 champs advance to play in the state tournament that begins July 8 at Cottonwood.

Copper Hills forced a deciding game with its 4-3 win Saturday night in Game 2.

Copper Hills led 2-0 going to the bottom of the fourth inning behind Kali Underwood’s fielder’s choice grounder that scored a run in the first and her RBI single in the fourth.

San Xavier’s fourth inning started with Martinez hitting a single and Acevedo walking. A throwing error on a grounder hit by Lucia Enriquez allowed Martinez to score from second base.

After Acevedo and Enriquez advanced a base on a wild pitch, a two-base error on a grounder hit by Leilani Lira allowed Acevedo and Enriquez to score to give San Xavier a 3-2 lead.

An RBI single by Juliana Valdez with two outs increased the lead to 4-2.

San Xavier took control of the game in the bottom of the fifth, scoring eight runs to pull away to the run-rule victory.

Martinez hit a double and Acevedo followed with an inside-the-park home run to spark the rally. Enriquez had the other hit in the inning, which included five walks, two errors and a hit-by-pitch.

“My whole team’s counting on me,” Acevedo said. “I have to make them proud of me and do what I have to do.”

Martinez, who went 2 for 4 with two runs, showed resolve in the circle allowing only one earned run and four hits in her five innings of work. She struck out 10 and walked two.

“I’ve hardly thrown that many strikeouts; my pitching has really improved,” Martinez said. “I couldn’t have done it without my pitching coach, Coach Hector (Silvain), who is also our assistant coach. That’s how it feels like to help your teammates win.”

Copper Hills appeared as if it can produce runs with runners on second and third in two different innings and Martinez was able to work her way out of the jams striking out the last batter.

“Aaliyah doesn’t really throw a whole lot of pitches outside of a fastball and a changeup,” said San Xavier manager Tony Martinez, Aaliyah’s father. “She used that to her advantage. When she had two strikes, she went to her changeup. It really wasn’t working for her today, so she had to rely a lot on her fastball trying to hit the inside and outside corners and I thought she did a phenomenal job.”

Acevedo was 2 for 2 with two runs, a double and her inside-the-park home run.

Enriquez and Lira each had two RBIs and Valdez produced three.

Underwood had two RBIs and Blake Moreno had two runs for Copper Hills.

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

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