The top four teams in the 5A Central Region softball race are not separated by much. And when Gilbert (4-1), Mesa Mountain View (3-2), Dobson (2-1) and Basha (2-1) have played one another the margin of error has been thin for the most part. Nothing changed in that regard Tuesday afternoon as Gilbert used a pair of two-run homers to beat Mountain View, 5-2, in a clash of teams tied for first in the region at Gilbert High.

Mesquite softball coach Jeff Shufelt has seen his team surrender bushel baskets of runs lately (39 in its last three defeats) and battle the loss of a couple key players (Ayssa Vargas and Katie Greco) to injury. The Wildcats, however, were definitely battlers Monday afternoon, coming back from two-run deficits early and late to subdue Perry High, 7-6, in a 5A non-region game at Mesquite.

Tuesday was the first visit for Queen Creek to the Desert Mountain Invitational Softball Tournament. For the Bulldogs opposition this day, Chandler, it was the second time. Both have the same goal -- get better playing top competition. Both played solid games, but a four-run rally in the eighth inning by Chandler proved to be the difference as the Wolves edged Queen Creek, 7-4, on the first day of the 14th annual tournament played at Horizon Park in Scottsdale.