Softball games to see this week
Firmly entrenched in the power point season again, let’s cut to the chase with plenty of really good softball matchups this week (of course that’s easy to come by when it’s 3 or 4 games per week for most schools).
(All games at 4 p.m. unless noted; All records are power point as of Monday, April 2):
Red Mountain at Gilbert (Tuesday): Probably the biggest game of the week and another preview of Div. I state tournament semifinals or even championship game the way these two schools have been playing. Gilbert won the first matchup on the first PP game of the season, 12-6, and both the Tigers (9-0) and Lions (7-1) have pitched significantly better since, which is key because everyone knows both teams can hit. Interesting to see if (and how much) this affects final playoff seeding because both teams have beneficial opponents to help with Opp. PP, and clunkers that aren’t going to help total PP in the end. Because of the schedules as they line up, as it stands right now, the Lions might need this one just a wee bit more than Gilbert as it relates to PP.
Notre Dame at Desert Mountain (Monday): A nice instra-Scottsdale matchup between one of the best in Div. I (Desert Mtn.) and Div. II (Notre Dame). The Wolves (7-0) earned a nice win against Chaparral last week, followed by an even nicer win against Mountain View. This is the first of a three-game-in-three-days stretch for DM, and these teams will meet again next week. The Saints (7-2) hit a bump in a 2-0 loss to Saguaro late last week, and need to re-gain their footing this week against DM, Cactus Shadows (3-4) and Shadow Mountain (3-4), because Williams Field, Paradise Valley and Desert Mountain are on deck next week.
Chandler at Desert Vista (Tuesday): The schedule has helped, as has some struggles by Corona del Sol that’ve helped the Wolves (8-1) to win a couple more games against teams with otherwise-good records (helpful in acquiring opp. VP similar to Red Mountain and Gilbert). But Chandler has won the close games (vs. Hamilton, Mesquite, Corona, Mesa) via slugfest or pitchers’ duel it often lost in the past. Another should be coming here against D.V. (5-3), as both school will meet again next week.
Basha at Mountain Ridge (Wednesday): Since losing big to Gilbert last week, the Bears (7-1) are back on track with wins against Perry (whom they play again Tuesday) and Casa Grande. Now the Bears get one of the hottest teams in Div. I, as Mountain Ridge (6-1) hasn’t lost in PP since being hammered by a really good Peoria Sunrise Mountain team to being the PP season, and has just beaten Peoria Centennial and Pinnacle. This will be Mtn. Ridge’s third game in three days (vs. Mountain Pointe on Monday, at North Canyon on Tuesday).
Pinnacle at Horizon (Thursday): Down in the dumps a bit after consecutive one-run losses to Xavier and Pinnacle last week, the Huskies (5-3) rebounded nicely with a 2-1 win against Mountain View to end the week. The Pioneers return after a wild, 11-10 victory against Horizon last week, but Horizon first has to get past Camelback and Chaparral. Both teams are a bit on the bubble right now, but Pinnacle (4-4), especially, needs to string a couple wins together to make its move.
Corona del Sol at Hamilton (Tuesday): The Huskies (3-7) are reeling. They’ve lost five consecutive PP games, with four of those being tight (only a loss to Xavier was the outcome never in doubt), and the schedule is going to get tougher again next week. Still, Keith Householder’s team isn’t out of the playoff picture thanks to its strength of schedule, but the Huskies need to win out this week against Corona (7-3) and Salpointe (5-3) to get back on the bubble. It can be done.
Highland at Mesa (Tuesday); Mesa at Desert Vista (Wednesday): Don’t look now but Mesa is still in the thick of things at 5-3. The Jackrabbits will get some help from its schedule, and, aside from a meltdown loss against Mountain Pointe, Mesa has either won or lost by one run in its PP games. Highland (4-2) and D.V. (5-3) are also on the bubble, so if the Jackrabbits can win twice here, it sets them up nicely to have some cushion when Red Mountain and Mountain Pointe come back next week. If Highland can sweep this week the Hawks will be in much better shape because Basha and Gilbert are coming on consecutive days next week.
Williams Field at Queen Creek (Tuesday); WF at Campo Verde (Wed.): All three of these are looking for wins this week as they try and catch up to the rest of Div. II in games played. Despite five consecutive wins, the jury is still out on the Black Hawks (6-3), and this week’s competition uptick should offer a better gauge of Cheri Smith’s squad. Queen Creek (4-2) is trying to survive injuries for a couple more weeks and hope one or two key pieces of their puzzle can return, but the Bulldogs should feel a bit encouraged even with a 4-2 loss to Gilbert last week. Campo Verde has to deal with a good Casa Grande team Tuesday, which, even with only two games this week, makes this an important point for the Coyotes since the schedule is a bit more favorable the rest of the way.
Tags: Basha, Campo Verde, Chandler, Desert Mountain, desert vista, games to watch, Gilbert, Hamilton, Highland, Horizon, Mesa, mountain points, Mountain View, Notre Dame, Pinnacle, Queen Creek, Red Mountain, softball, williams field