Wildcats host Elks on Wednesday, third in early region standings

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Cameryn Woodall (11) keeps her eyes on the catcher’s glove as she delivers a pitch. The Morenci sophomore has struck out 62, walked 27, beaned five, yielded four sacrifice bunts, and allowed seven hits while facing 211 batters during 41 innings. Morenci hosts Round Valley on Wednesday, March 22, and heads to the two-day Chandler Prep tourney on Thursday, March 23.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

MORENCI – The Joseph Garcia-coached Morenci Wildcats host the North Region Eagar Round Valley Elks on Wednesday, March 22. It comes following multiple days off after the scheduled home game with Tombstone was not held on March 16.

Other non-region contests included Benson at Saint David on Monday, March 20; Benson at Tucson Empire, and Pima at Thatcher on Wednesday, March 22; Tombstone at San Manuel and Willcox at Queen Creek Crimson on Friday, March 24; and Bisbee, Morenci, and Pima in the two-day Chandler Prep tourney beginning on March 23.

Tombstone left Willcox with a 1-18 loss during five innings (March 21) in the lone region game of the week.

East Region Standings

The region standings after March 21 have Willcox (16-2-1 overall, 6-0 seeding, 3-0 region) first, Benson (10-7-1, 4-2, 3-1) second, Morenci (7-4, 4-2, 1-2) third, Bisbee (3-5, 2-2, 1-2) fourth, Pima (3-5, 1-3, 1-2) fifth, and Tombstone (2-8, 0-3, 0-2) sixth.

The March 16 Tombstone at Morenci region game was canceled and is yet to be rescheduled.

Thus far after a month of competing, Willcox (2-0) has region wins of 9-6 over Morenci (March 3) and 8-7 over Benson (March 14); Benson (3-1) 11-0 in five innings over Bisbee (March 7), 14-10 over Morenci (March 8), and 19-3 in four innings over Pima (March 10); Morenci (1-2) defeated Bisbee 19-1 in five innings (March 4); Bisbee (1-2) defeated Pima 11-10 (March 14); and Pima (1-2) defeated Tombstone 16-2 in five innings (March 7).

Round Valley Elks (9-3)

The Darin Emerald-coached Elks have won nine of 12 games played to date.

Round Valley has seeding wins of 13-0 in five innings over Pima (Feb. 28), 9-3 over Holbrook (March 8), and 7-6 over Winslow (March 9).

The Elks posted a 4-1 mark during the 2-day Wickenburg tourney, downing Kingman Lee Williams 4-1 in four innings (March 3), Kayenta Monument Valley 5-2 in four innings (March 3), Glendale Desert Heights Prep 19-1 in three innings (March 3), Phoenix Thunderbird 11-3 during four innings (March 4) before falling 2-11 to Flagstaff in five innings (March 4).

Round Valley also went 2-2 during the 2-day Tolleson tourney, posting wins of 8-4 in four innings over Elfrida Valley Union (March 16) and 9-1 in four innings over Glendale Trivium Prep (March 17). The Apache County girls fell 3-10 in five innings to Yuma Catholic (March 16) and 0-7 in six innings to Bagdad (March 18) before returning home.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Celina Manuz (9) takes a few cuts in the batting circle before stepping to the plate. The Morenci senior has the second-highest batting average (.630, 17-27) and on-base percentage (.706) for the Wildcats.

Round Valley (9-3) comes to Morenci with a .319 (75-235) batting and .840 (221-263) fielding average. The Elks have driven in 60 of 89 runs and posted 17 doubles, two triples, and six home runs as well as struck out 68 times, drawn 61 walks, were beaned nine times, had three sacrifice flies, nine sacrifice bunts, and stole 27-27 bases.

In the circle, a 3-member pitching corps has a 2.62 earned runs allowed average. Round Valley has allowed 21 earned runs of 49 scored, yielded 47 hits in 235 at-bats (.200) with four home runs and 4 RBIs, struck out 75, walked 20, and beaned 10 while facing 265 batters during 56 innings.

Defensively, two double plays have been turned in and opponents have been limited to 1-7 stolen bases.

Morenci Wildcats (8-2)

The Wildcats have gone the regulation length twice in seven seeding games played thus far, both ending in losses. They have also gone 3-2 in five time-limited tourney games.

Morenci defeated Miami 22-2 during five innings (Feb 27), Bisbee 19-1 in five innings (March 11), Miami 31-2 in four innings (March 10), San Carlos 22-0 in five innings (March 14). The losses were 6-9 to Willcox (March 3) and 10-14 to Benson (March 8).

The Wildcats opened the season with a 6-7 four-inning loss to Florence (Feb. 23) during the 3-day Glendale Apollo Cool Nights Tourney, followed by wins of 12-7 over Apollo in three innings (Feb. 23), 18-3 in three innings over Avondale La Jolla Community (Feb. 24), and 2-1 in five innings over Apollo (Feb. 24) during pool play. A 5-10 five-inning bracket play loss to Avondale West Point resulted on Feb. 25.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Alizabeth Aguilar (18) extends her hand for congratulations while rounding third base. The Morenci junior leads the Wildcats in batting average (.679, 23-33), on-base percentage (.767), and runs batted in (26). Eleven of her hits have been for multiple bases, seven doubles, a triple, and three home runs.

Morenci (9-2) faces Round Valley with a .279 (134-279) batting and .815 (110-135) fielding average. The Wildcats have driven in 123 of 150 runs and posted 36 doubles, three triples, and 13 home runs as well as struck out 46 times, drawn 41 walks, were beaned seven times, had six sacrifice flies, six sacrifice bunts, and stole 22-23 bases.

In the circle, a 4-member pitching corps has a 3.43 earned runs allowed average. Morenci has allowed 25 earned runs of 56 scored, yielded 38 hits in 214 at-bats (.178) with six doubles, struck out 73, walked 34, and beaned seven while facing 259 batters during 51 innings.

Defensively, eight double plays have been turned in and opponents have 10 stolen bases in 12 attempts.

Morenci – 22, San Carlos – 0 (5 inn.)

The Wildcats crossed home four times during their initial plate appearance, added six in the second, three in the third, and nine in the fourth while the visiting Braves went 0-14 at the plate and reached first thrice, on a walk and beaned twice for an abbreviated contest.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Mia Ontiveros (7) awaits her turn to bat. The Morenci senior leads the Wildcats in doubles (8) and home runs (4) and is third in batting average (.514, 19-37).

Morenci batted .426 (12-26), eight of 10 batters recorded at least one of 12 hits and drove in at least one of 15 runs batted in, struck out once, drew 10 walks, was beaned twice, and left on. The Wildcats posted a 1.000 (15-15) fielding average.

Hudman batted 1.000 (1-1, triple, 2 RBIs), Aguilar .750 (3-4, 2 doubles, 3 RBIs), Cruz and Ontiveros (double) both .667 (2-3, RBI), Manuz .500 (1-2, 3 RBIs), Blair and Woodall both .333 (1-3, RBI) and Gallegos .250 (1-4, double, 3 RBIs).

In the circle, Woodall struck out 11, walked one, beaned one, and gave up no hits while facing 13 batters during four innings. Closer Chee struck out two, beaned one, and gave up no hits while facing four batters during one inning.