Perry wins state softball playoff game in 12 innings

Perry wins state softball playoff game in 12 innings


Perry wins state softball playoff game in 12 innings


The number of innings also matched the number of story lines.

Saturday’s Division I softball state tournament first-round game between No. 17 Gilbert Perry and No. 16 host Tempe Corona del Sol goes deeper than the 12 innings played.

In the end, Perry won, 2-1, to advance to the second round to face top-seeded Glendale Mountain Ridge on Tuesday.

Perry, which was playing hours before prom night, won despite Corona del Sol senior right-hander McKenna Isenberg throwing what could be a state single-game record of 24 strikeouts.

Isenberg struck out the side six times, including the first five innings, and at one point stuck out 11 in a row. She allowed just two walks, struck out 12 innings and threw a total of 209 pitches, 147 for strikes.

“That was one of the most inspiring pitching performances I’ve watched,” said Perry coach Kevin Chapin, who had coached at Corona del Sol under current coach Jennifer “Jeep” Ray for nine years.

Corona del Sol scored first in the bottom of the fifth inning when Alyssa Alan’s line drive out at center field scored Corina Sepulveda from third base.

Perry answered in the sixth with Devon Ryan’s RBI single to right field that scored Laynee Gomez from second base. It scored the eventual game-winning run with two outs in the 12th inning on another Ryan RBI single.

Corona del Sol had bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth and 10th innings but couldn’t capitalize.

“I don’t even know how many we left on base —a boatload,” Ray said. “We had our opportunities, but we didn’t score.”

Corona del Sol left 18 runners on base.

Though Perry pitcher Jillian Leslie walked 13 batters, she struck out 12, including two crucial strikeouts that ended the sixth inning, and allowed four hits.

“We had a stellar pitching performance,” Chapin said. “The defense played well behind her. We had moments where they had us on the rope a little bit with runners on base. And time and time again, they got out of it. It was incredibly well-played defensively.”

Chapin commended Corona del Sol’s play again, mentioning the hard times the team has gone through the past two weeks.

Corona del Sol’s players attended the funeral services of teammate Makenzie Bates’ father, Joe Bates, on Friday. On Saturday, Makenzie Bates watched her team in the stands, which included an open seat that had a sign that read, “Reserved for Joe.”

All of Corona del Sol’s players had “JB” written on their hands.


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