Softball


It is known, perhaps trademarked now, as the Red Mountain Way. In softball that means Red Mountain had to fight its way back through the 5A-I state tournament loser\\\'s bracket for the chance to play for the championship. For the fourth time in six years of the double-elimination format, Red Mountain won twice on semifinal Wednesday to advance to winner-take-all Friday.

An elimination game. A tie game. Someone needed to step up. That someone Wednesday afternoon at Sandra Day O\\\' Connor High School was Westview catcher Sianna Gomez. Gomez picked off a Perry High runner at second base to help the Knights escape a sixth-inning jam and then drilled a hit that started a game-winning rally for her team in the seventh as No. 13 Westview nipped No. 8 Perry, 3-2, to stay alive in the 5A-II state softball tournament.

If Michelle Duncan had any lingering problems with her right wrist they were not apparent in her effort on Saturday morning. Duncan, the Gilbert Tigers veteran ace, pitched a three-hit shutout and needed to be sharp as second seed Gilbert edged No. 15 seed Mesquite, 1-0, in the first round of the 5A-I state softball tournament at Gilbert High.