Defense, solid pitching and making contact at the plate were the keys for New Mexico Stix as they nailed down the Triple A championship during the 18th annual D-backs Inter-Tribal Youth Softball Tournament at Salt River High School diamond.
The Stix, of Kirtland, N.M., were undefeated during pool play. In fact, the Stix posted three shutouts en route to winning their pool.
The Stix posted a 7-0 shutout over Kryptonite of Winslow/Dilkon vicinity in the opening round of pool play. They dropped the Fort Defiance Mariners, 9-0, in second game and the Stix ended pool play with an 11-0 win over MV Heat.
The Stix continued its trek toward the tournament bracket championship. The Stix edged New Mexico Dreamcatchers, of Gallup, N.M., 6-5, in the semifinals. The Stix chalked up an impressive 10-1 victory over Southwest Natives, of Tucson for the championship.
Head coach Nicole Nakai said players from Kirtland, Farmington and Bloomfield make up Stix. She said this was Stix’s first appearance in the tournament.
“I formed the team prior to entering the tournament,” Nakai said. “The players play in the Farmington league. They play against each other during the summer league. Now they are teammates.
This is our first time competing in this tournament. The girls worked together as a team and they competed as a team. It seemed like they have been playing together as a team for a long time. They are athletic. They displayed their athleticism. It’s a great feeling to win the tournament. We’re going to enjoy winning the tournament together as a team.”
Stix pitcher Ananda Delagarito, a junior at Piedra Vista High School in Farmington, stifled Kryptonite bats in the first game of pool play. She allowed two hits and fanned 10 batters.
“Our defense backed Ananda well,” Nakai said. “Ananda threw good pitches throughout the game. We hit the ball.”