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Continental Ranch comes back for title

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 3rd, 2012

Continental Ranch celebrates their District 5 championship.

The Continental Ranch Major All-Stars overcame an early deficit to beat Thornydale 8-6 to win the District 5 championship. The win capped an undefeated run for Continental Ranch.

Thornydale jumped out to a 4-0 lead, scoring all four runs in the top half of the first.

Continental Ranch scratched out a run when Zaryna Urbina raced home on a wild pitch.

Thornydale appeared to take total control with two more runs in the third, giving them a 6-1 lead. Kelly Ryan and Alex Van Der Werf drew walks and both came home on a bloop single two batters later.

The Continental Ranch bats finally came alive in the bottom of the third. More importantly, the CRLL batters became more patient at the plate.

Haley Basye singled, Karolina Perez walked and both came home to score on a bizarre play. Bailey Thompson laced a liner down the right field line that landed inches inside the line and kept rolling. The Thornydale right fielder thought the ball was heading toward a gap at the end of the outfield fence and started to signal for a ground rule double. She kept playing the ball and made a throw back towards the infield, which hit a low hanging tree.

Thompson appeared to have a home run, but after the officials consulted they decided that the ball had not left the field of play, but that when it hit the tree it became a dead ball. Thompson was sent back to third base, but the Bayse and Perez scored.

Three pitches later Thompson came home on a wild pitch to make the score 6-4.

The next four batters, Addison Gardner, Melina Garcia, Alexis Menge and Gabriella Aguirre, all walked. Gardner scored on Aguirre’s walk and Garcia scored on a wild pitch. Menge scored on a balk to give Continental Ranch a 7-6 lead. They scored six runs on just two hits, but took advantage of six walks, three wild pitches and the balk.

In the top of the fourth Thornydale had two runners on base but pitcher Karolina Perez made a diving catch in foul territory and struck out the final batter, stranding both runners and working out of the jam.

Walks continued to be a boon for Continental Ranch in the fourth inning. Basye, Perez and Thompson led off the inning with three walks and Addison Gardner hit ball back to the Thornydale pitcher Van Der Werf. She stumbled coming off the mound but while falling attempted to tag Basye racing home. The umpire did not make an immediate signal, so Van Der Werf flipped the ball to her catcher, who in turn fired the ball down to third. The ball got there at the same time as a sliding Perez. The ball squirted loose and Perez raced home for the eighth Continental Ranch run.

Perez was nails over the final two innings, she gave up a lone single in the fifth and walked the lead off batter in the sixth, but retired the final three batters, including making the third out herself, to earn the win.

Continental Ranch now advances to the state championship tournament in Sierra Vista. They begin play on Saturday.

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