Softball semifinals set for 1A, 2A

David Sowders/Arizona Silver Belt The San Manuel High School Miners – senior Priscilla Ivy is shown at bat in a regular season game with Miami - have advanced to the state softball semifinals.

The AIA Conference 1A and 2A softball championships have come down to eight teams, including the top two finishers in 1A East and a second seed from northern Gila County.

In the 2A quarterfinals last Saturday, the second-seeded Round Valley Elks (27-4, 7-0 in section 2A North) advanced with a 10-2 victory over Horizon Honors. Elks junior Kayla Logan had three runs, including a homer, and three RBIs against the Eagles. Sophomore Liliana Arreola also hit a home run for Round Valley, and senior pitcher Kyrie Walker threw seven strikeouts.

This Thursday, at the Rose Mofford Sports Complex in Phoenix, the Elks will face the sixth-seeded Willcox Cowboys (25-9) and the #1 seed Benson Bobcats (25-6) will take on the #5 Kingman Academy Tigers (22-5).

The Miami Vandals, who qualified for the 2A play-in round with a second-place finish in 2A East, fell 10-0 to the Phoenix Christian Cougars in that round; Round Valley then defeated the Cougars by the same score in round one.

The top two seeds in 1A, the 18-5 San Manuel Miners and 17-6 Superior Panthers – who finished 6-1 and 7-1 in 1A East – will have semifinal games Thursday at the Fiesta Sports Complex in Mesa. The Miners and Panthers split their regular season games, going 1-1 head-to-head in both section play and tournament play.

The Miners have been dominant so far in the tournament, shutting out the Fort Thomas Apaches 22-0 and the Mohave Accelerated Patriots 18-0. Senior Jazmine Waddell leads San Manuel in scoring with 44 runs, including 8 homers; as a pitcher, she has recorded 207 strikeouts this year. The Miners will face the #4 Bagdad Sultans (18-6) Thursday, while the second-seeded Panthers meet the third-seeded Williams Vikings (18-11).

Superior advanced with an 18-2 first-round win over Antelope Union and a 3-0 quarterfinal against St. Michael. Senior pitcher Danika Bryant was key, throwing 34 strikeouts and hitting four runs in the two games, while Panther seniors Alianna Lopez and Myika Cruz each scored four times against Antelope Union.

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