Keep it simple. Easy, right?
Not always, but when Chaparral's softball team does less, it often winds up with more.
In this case, it's runs. The approach worked out for the Firebirds last week in beating No. 3 Basha, but didn't work so well in losing to No. 6 Red Mountain.
Back it again on Saturday, the Firebirds found it again as they pounded out 16 hits in a 12-3 win over No. 2 Vail Cienega on Saturday at Rose Mofford softball complex.
Those 16 included three doubles, a triple by Lauren La Terra and a home run by Ashtyn Coleman.
No. 14 Chaparral advances to another elimination game on Tuesday night against the loser of Monday night's Mountain Ridge-Mountain View matchup.
"If we hit, we're tough, and we swung the bats pretty good," Chaparral coach Stefanie Ewing said.
While also helping the cause offensively with two hits and two RBIs, Dallas McBride was the bigger recipient in the circle. Despite a minor illness, McBride allowed no earned runs, four hits (all singles) and struck out seven with two wild pitches.
Alana Anderson had three hits in the leadoff spot, as did La Terra. Those two plus Hanna Mehok all scored twice. Chaparral held 2-0 and 6-2 leads early, then scored five runs (highlighted by a two-run single) in the seventh inning to clinch the win.
The Firebirds' three errors led to Cienega's three runs, but Chaparral also made a couple strong defensive plays in the sixth inning to stop Cienega's biggest threat of making it a close game again.
Chaparral led 7-3, but Cienega had two on and nobody out in the sixth when Alexa Thorell knocked down a hard grounder and made the play at first for one out. Then La Terra made a diving stop which became the second out, and the Firebirds eventually got out of the inning unscathed which set up the seventh inning scoring spree.
"That took the wind out of them," Ewing said.
Mark Heller is the East Valley Tribune sports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 898-6576.