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.

Highland softball coach Jamie Waldron figured after a couple weeks of the season if the Hawks were to make some noise this season it would have to be with hitting and defense. That was the formula Thursday night as the Hawks used timely hitting, plate discipline and defense to upend Dobson, 11-7, in a 5A Central Region game at Highland High.

A pitcher who did not feel good pitched lights out. A power hitter who set the table rather than drive in runs. And a cleanup hitter that delivered what her role requires. Perry used those contributions Friday to put a stranglehold on the lead in the 5A East Valley Region softball race by defeating Skyline, 6-0, at Skyline High School.