Red Mountain captures record fifth consecutive championship; Ironwood Ridge beats rival for first title.
Red Mountain players celebrate after defeating Mountain Ridge to claim their fifth consecutive state softball championship.
David Jolkovski / East Valley Tribune
The drive for five is complete, as Mesa Red Mountain won its state-record fifth consecutive state softball title Monday night, routing Glendale Mountain Ridge 8-1 in the Division I championship game at Farrington Stadium in Tempe.
Pitcher Breana Macha earned her fourth consecutive state title game victory for the Mountain Lions (30-6-1), who had to win five straight games in the tournament after being forced into the losers' bracket by Chaparral in the opening round of double-elimination play. Macha allowed seven hits, all singles, and took a shutout into the seventh, by which point the game was well in hand.
Macha also contributed offensively. After Red Mountain catcher Jordan Beck doubled in the second inning of a scoreless game, Macha came up and hit the first pitch she saw off the wall for a double of her own, plating Beck to make it 1-0. Macha then scored on McKenzy Gutierrez's triple to make it 2-0.
Red Mountain added three runs in the fourth inning, which was capped by a two-run double by Alyssa Fernandez, and three more in the sixth, highlighted by a two-run single by Ashley Hill, to put the game out of reach.
Fourth-seeded Mountain Ridge was playing in its first-ever state title game. The Mountain Ridge had gone unbeaten through double-elimination play.
Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge won its first-ever state softball title Monday night, holding on for a 2-1 win over rival Canyon del Oro at Farrington Stadium in Tempe.
The Nighthawks (28-7) had finished as state runner-ups three times -- in 2008, 2011 and 2013 -- before finally breaking through this year as the fifth seed.
Ironwood Ridge starter Emily Robinson allowed just five hits in a complete-game effort, with the one run allowed being unearned. She struck out four to finish the season 19-3.
The Nighthawks' runs came on a bases-loaded walk to Lu Olson that drove in Skyler Bracety in the second inning, making it 1-0, and an RBI single by Robyn Porter that plated Reyna Bondi in the third to push the lead to 2-0.
Fourth-seeded Canyon del Oro (28-8) was playing for its eighth state title.
The Dorados got their lone run in the fourth, when Rebecca Ziegler scored on an outfield error following a single by teammate Monique Castillo.