Though not very talkative, San Manuel freshman Lyana Waddell proved to be a fierce competitor on the mound, but even she managed to express her feelings about leading her school to its first state softball championship game since 1994.
“It’s amazing, awesome,” said Waddell, who got the final out with the tying run at second in second-seeded San Manuel’s 3-2 win over 14th-seeded Miami (15-5) in semifinal-round play of the Division 4 State Softball Tournament at the Rose Mofford Complex.
San Manuel will face top-seeded Phoenix Northwest Christian in Saturday night’s title game, which be played at 5:30 p.m. at the Rose Mofford Sports Complex in Phoenix.
Both San Manuel and Northwest Christian ended Cinderella-style runs by their opponents in nearly identical fashion Friday night.
Northwest Christian allowed four runs in the seventh, but held off 20th-seeded Phoenix Country Day with the tying run aboard.
San Manuel allowed a run in the seventh but prevailed after Miami ran itself out of the inning with the tying runs in scoring position.
With San Manuel (27-8) holding a 3-1 lead, Miami’s Danielle Garcia was hit by a pitch to open the inning, and took second on a ground out. Jasmine Johnson then bounced a single through the middle sending Garcia to third, but when Johnson danced off second and drew a throw, Garcia broke for the plate and was gunned down by San Manuel shortstop Mariah McBride.
The magnificent underdog run of 20th-seeded Phoenix Country Day came to a halt in Friday night’s early semifinal thanks largely in part to the right arm and bat of Phoenix Northwest Christian’s Elizabeth Bostwick.
Bostwick had four hits, three RBIs and complete-game 6-5 victory.