St. Micheal softball team chases history books

PHOENIX

With an experienced squad, the St. Michael softball team would like to rewrite history.

Navajo Times | Quentin Jodie

St. Michael shortstop Aurianna Quintana (11) cheats off third base during the opening round of the Arizona 1A state softball tournament. The Lady Cardinals advanced into the quarterfinals with a 5-2 win over Hayden.

Last season the Lady Cardinals won their first-ever state playoff game and this season they would like to take it a step further behind a group of underclassmen.

“We’re starting to set new standards,” St. Michael sophomore Sunshine Burnside said. “Before I graduate I want to help the school make history and win a state title. I want the underclassmen to win it again.”

The No. 5 seeded Cardinals are heading in the right direction as they opened the Arizona 1A state softball tournament with a 5-2 win over the Winkelman Hayden Lobos last Saturday at the Rose Mofford Softball Complex in north Phoenix.

The Cardinals led 5-0 going into the last frame before Hayden rallied with a pair of runs. Things got a bit tricky for St. Michael but freshman ace Gabriella Simpson recorded her 13th strikeout to end that threat.

“It was an intense seventh inning,” St. Michael coach Karen Tom said. “I felt like we were pretty confident in the other innings and the girls were working hard on defense. But as soon seventh inning came around and with two outs they started to rally.

“Our pitcher got a little frustrated,” she said. “The umps were not calling her strikes and I think that was a mental game for her and our infielders.”

The Cardinals made a few mental errors in that last inning as they had a tough time getting out the lead runner. Tom said they have to fix those errors when they play No. 4 seed Williams on Friday at 6 p.m. in Phoenix in the quarterfinals.

“I don’t know too much about Williams but I do know that they’re a good team,” she said. “The errors we made today, we cannot have them when we play Williams. We need to be better and we need to come out strong.”


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About The Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com