Make no mistake, McKenna Isenberg and Valerie Kaff are all-stars.
The opposing pitchers combined to make the first 15 outs in the Arizona Softball Coaches Association Division I All-Star Game themselves, all of which were strikeouts.
Tempe Corona del Sol’s Isenberg, pitching for the red team, had six while Mesa Mountain View’s Kaff had nine before the first non-“K” strikeout came in the bottom of the third with the Blue team up to bat.
“We didn’t really think anything of it,” said Kaff, whose Blue team won 14-4. “I just went out there and pitched and hoped for the best. I just went out and played relaxed.”
She ended the game with 10 strikeouts over three innings.
Between all those strikeouts came a lot of runs for the Blue team, starting early in the first.
The blue team scored eight runs in the first inning to take a 8-1 lead. It started with a walk from Isenberg and an RBI double to the center field fence by Deer Valley’s Adriana Gutierrez.
Gutierrez was named Most Valuable Player after the game for her performance.
“I didn’t expect my senior year to end like this at all,” Gutierrez said. “It was just a great ending. The senior all-star game MVP is nice.”
The blue team combined for four runs in the fourth, one in the sixth and one in the seventh, which was played even though Blue was leading because it was an all-star game.
Gilbert Perry’s Jillian Leslie pitched part of the game for the red team, but shone brightest in the home run contest beforehand. Even when she wasn’t hitting them out of the park, they were landing just short of the fences. Nine players from both divisions competed.
Leslie took first place in large part to her nine home runs in the first round of the competition. Nine players from both divisions competed.