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Thu, May 23

Prep softball: Bradshaw Mountain splits with Mohave
Bears need strong finish for shot at state

Despite being mathematically eliminated from 4A Grand Canyon Region title contention, Bradshaw Mountain’s softball team could still have something to play for with three league games left on its 2017 schedule.

The 4A No. 16-ranked Bears split a two-game region series with No. 17 Mohave Thursday afternoon at their campus field in Prescott Valley.

With an 11-10 loss, Bradshaw Mountain’s record dropped to 4-5 in region and 6-5 in power-point contests. Mohave improved to 3-4 in region and 5-6 overall. The Bears beat the Thunderbirds, 9-3, Tuesday in Bullhead City.

Bears pitcher McKaylee Dodge suffered the loss, allowing 11 hits and striking out four.

At the plate, Cailee Morgan led Bradshaw Mountain, going 3 for 5 with a home run, a double, a stolen base and three runs scored. Haley Young (3 for 4, two doubles, stolen base, three RBIs, two runs scored), Madisen Duryea (3 for 4, three stolen bases, RBI, two runs scored) and Katie Grandy (3 for 3, three stolen bases, run scored) followed.

The Bears struggled defensively, committing a few errors at inopportune times. Down 5-1 in the third, Bradshaw Mountain tied the game at 5-5. Mohave scored three unearned runs in the fourth, but the Bears tied it again.

Bradshaw Mountain pulled ahead 10-8 in the sixth, although Mohave sealed the victory by plating three unearned runs in the seventh with two outs.

“We gave too many additional outs due to errors,” Bears coach Sharon Haese said. “We hit the ball well collectively as a team with 16 hits.”

Earning an at-large berth into the 4A state tournament (April 29-May 9) remains a possibility for Bradshaw Mountain, which sits squarely on the bubble. The tourney field consists of 16 teams, including 4A’s eight region champions and the conference’s eight best remaining squads based on power-point ranking.

A potential problem for the Bears is that four of their last six regular-season games come against 4A Top 10-ranked opponents.

Bradshaw Mountain faces No. 8 Prescott twice next week in a home-and-home region series.

The Bears conclude their campaign at home versus No. 5 Cactus April 21 and at No. 9-ranked league foe Coconino April 24. Winnable contests at Combs (April 17) and vs. Shadow Mountain (April 20) at home are sandwiched in between.

However, if Bradshaw Mountain gets hot and notches a few upsets, the Bears would stand a much better chance of qualifying for state than if they hadn’t played such difficult foes.

UP NEXT

Bradshaw Mountain plays host to area rival Prescott at 3:45 p.m. next Tuesday, April 11, in Prescott Valley. The Bears will visit the Badgers on their campus field at 3:45 p.m. next Thursday, April 13, to wrap up the two-game region set.

Follow Doug Cook on Twitter @dougout_dc. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2039, or via email at dcook@prescottaz.com.

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