Chemistry could carry Sunrise Mountain softball team to another state title

Chemistry could carry Sunrise Mountain softball team to another state title

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Chemistry could carry Sunrise Mountain softball team to another state title

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Peoria Sunrise Mountain has its shot at redemption.

With Wednesday’s 2-0 win over No. 7-seeded Phoenix Greenway in the Division II softball playoffs at the Rose Mofford Softball Complex, top-seeded Sunrise Mountain is in Monday’s 5:30 p.m. championship game at Arizona State’s Farrington Stadium, where they lost last year to Oro Valley Canyon del Oro 11-9 in eight innings.

This time, Sunrise Mountain plays the winner of Friday’s game between Greenway and Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge in hopes of matching its championships of 2006, ’08 and ’09.

The key, Sunrise Mountain coach Jody Pruitt said, is maintaining this season’s chemistry.

“When you have that,” she said, “these kids believe in themselves and that they can win.”

Sunrise Mountain’s victory over Greenway (25-7-1) was its third this season against that team, backing 8-3 and 2-0 wins during the regular season. The win also was the 29th straight for Sunrise Mountain (35-1) since a 5-2 loss to Mountain Ridge made it 6-1.

Sunrise Mountain broke open a scoreless game Wednesday with one run in the fifth and another in the sixth. Sunrise Mountain pitcher Taylor Nowlin, who struck out eight, led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo homer to center. Sunrise Mountain added an insurance run in the sixth with three singles that loaded the bases, then a fielder’s choice scored Molly Stern.

Two Greenway players reached base on walks and another on a hit, but none went beyond second. While Nowlin kept Greenway hitters off balance, her team fielded consistently.

Coach Ed McQuade’s Greenway team had outscored its first three state tournament opponents 11-0.

“We’ve had our chances against them, but just haven’t taken advantage of them,” McQuade said.

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Chemistry could carry Sunrise Mountain softball team to another state title
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