West Valley Preps
All Ally McCutchen the pitcher needed Tuesday, as it turned out, was one hit from Ally McCutchen the batter.
The Avondale Westview senior hit a two-run home run over the fence in left center to stretch the Knights’ lead to 5-1. In the circle, McCutchen pitched a two-hit complete game, striking out 10 Valley Vista batters.
The visitors ended up with an 8-1 win.
“They know she can get a strikeout if she needs one. She makes the tam better when she’s in the circle and they know that,” Westview coach Larry Wonner said.
His team took a 1-0 lead on senior Deymbre Avalos’ RBI double in the top of the third. Freshman Hollie Steeves walked to start the fourth, moved over on a fielder’s choice and scored on an error. Then senior Madison Matthews added a RBI single.
The visitors tacked on three insurance runs in the final two innings.
Westview (16-5 overall, 9-5 regular season) will remain atop the Southwest Region with a 6-0 record, one game ahead of Goodyear Millennium and two up on Valley Vista. Sweeping the Monsoon also puts them in control of their fate.
“If we ended up tied with them in the region, they actually win the region because they have the better conference record. We knew that and we talked about it. We had to beat them twice. We couldn’t depend on anyone else,” Wonner said. “I told them that we came in and took care of business.”
Valley Vista (11-8, 8-5) was sent down in order in the first three innings.
Sophomore catcher Moira Mesola became the home team’s first base runner after being hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fourth. Junior Samantha Tamburo followed with her team’s first hit.
Mesola took third on a wild pitch and came home after a throwing error. Senior pitcher Alicia Anaya hit a bloop single in the fifth, and that was mostly it for the Monsoon.
“Today we just couldn’t get our bats going,” Valley Vista coach Stephanie Kingsley said. “And she had good stuff.”
With a region title now a long shot, the Monsoon still have a chance to make history. The Monsoon entered the day #22 in the 6A rankings.
If Valley Vista can stay in the top 24, it will play the program’s first postseason game – which would be a play-in game April 25.
“Making Valley Vista softball history and making it to playoffs — Valley Vista has never been to the playoffs — would be an honor. I’m pretty sure all the other girls would love to go out with a bang like that,” senior Thalia Lara said.