ORO VALLEY — A late-season hot streak got Queen Creek's softball team into the playoffs. But no amount of momentum could help the Bulldogs against defending-champion Canyon del Oro.
Host CDO belted four home runs, part of a 12-hit barrage to pace an 11-1 victory Tuesday in a Division II state tournament second round game that ended in the fifth inning.
“They definitely outplayed us; hitting, pitching, everything, they outplayed us,” Queen Creek coach Katie Bundy said of the No. 2-seeded Dorados, who won the Class 4A-I state title in 2011 and have won 10 in a row. “One-through-9, they can hit.”
CDO (27-4) wasted no time jumping on Bulldogs senior Amanda Baldwin. Kayla Bonstrom led off the bottom of the first with a home run to the opposite field in left, the opening salvo in a four-run inning that also included two hard doubles to the gaps, two walks and a throwing error.
The Dorados added three more in the second, including two on another opposite-field blast by Bonstrom, who finished 3 for 3 with three runs scored and three RBI.
Bonstrom also held her own on the mound, allowing just one hit while walking three and striking out seven.
Fifteen-seeded Queen Creek (21-15) scored its lone run in the top of the fourth on a walk by Baldwin and a single to center by junior Kendal Walther, a hit that skipped under the center fielder’s glove to move the runners. Baldwin eventually scored on the play when the throw in from the outfield got past CDO third baseman Samantha Noland to cut the deficit to 7-1.
CDO added a single run in the bottom of the fourth, the ended the contest early with three in the fifth, starting with back-to-back homers from Briana Dohogne and Alexis Aguirre and finishing with an RBI bloop single from Monique Castillo.
“That’s probably the best two-strike hitting we’ve seen all season,” CDO coach Stephanie Nicholson said. “As long as our bats stay hitting well, ultimately we’ll be able to win games.”
For Queen Creek, the run-rule loss was a bitter way to end a season that seemed to be peaking down the stretch. Bundy said the Bulldogs had just gotten healthy in the last few weeks, so to see the season end so abruptly was difficult for her and her players to take.
“We were (No.) 25 (in power points) with three games left,” Bundy said. “My girls didn’t fold. They battled. Unfortunately, when they’re (hitting) over the fence you can’t do much.”