Bears rally in title game to win ‘Cool Nights’ tournament; Monday's game postponed
Bradshaw Mountain won the Gold Championship Bracket of the annual Apollo “Cool Nites” Tournament Saturday night, March 9, after coming from behind to beat Casteel, 5-2, in the title game.
At Apollo High School in Glendale, the Bears finished the tourney with a 6-0 record. They defeated Yuma Catholic, 8-0, and Cactus Shadows, 3-0, on Saturday to qualify for the final.
Versus Casteel, junior pitcher Jacie Hambrick garnered the win, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out 10. Madisen Duryea’s two-run homer to center with two outs in the seventh inning completed a storybook comeback.
The Bears trailed 2-0 going into the sixth inning. But that’s when Hambrick ripped a two-run double to tie it. Bradshaw Mountain later took the lead for good when Shelby Dilcher executed a surprise bunt to bring home Hambrick from third base.
In the pitcher’s circle, Hambrick struck out two of the three batters she faced in the seventh to seal it.
Duryea led the way at the dish, going 2 for 4 with a double, a homer, two RBIs and two runs scored. Caitlynn Neal (2 for 2, two runs scored) and Hambrick (double, two RBIs, run scored) aided in the effort.
Versus Cactus Shadows in the semifinal, Neal threw a one-hitter, fanning 12. Duryea was 3 for 3 with two RBIs.
Against Yuma Catholic, Hambrick hurled a one-hitter with seven strikeouts. At the plate, Neal went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. Yesenia Gomez was 3 for 3 with an RBI.
In pool play on Thursday and Friday, Bradshaw Mountain compiled a 3-0 mark, beating Northwest Christian, 7-2, Cactus Shadows, 9-0, and Apollo, 4-0. The Bears won their pool by a one-run differential.
Versus Northwest Christian, Neal garnered the win in the pitcher’s circle, throwing a no-hitter and tallying 13 strikeouts in six innings. Neal helped her own cause with a big stick, going 3 for 3 with three runs scored and two stolen bases. Duryea was 2 for 3 with a homer and two RBIs.
Against Cactus Shadows, Hambrick tossed a no-hitter in four innings, striking out 10. At the dish, Layla Stouder (2 for 2, homer, two RBIs, two runs scored), Gomez (2 for 3, double, two RBIs, run scored) and Hambrick (2 for 3, double, two RBIs, three runs scored) starred.
Facing Apollo, pitcher Neal nabbed the win, surrendering two hits while striking out 11 and walking one. Neal (2 for 2, two runs scored, stolen base) and Duryea (2 for 2, RBI, run scored) stood out offensively.
Weather permitting, Bradshaw Mountain continues on in region play when it visits Lee Williams (1-3 record in power-point games, 0-2 region) at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, in Kingman.
Coconino plays host to non-region foe Desert Edge at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, in Flagstaff, also weather permitting.
Doug Cook is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.