Tanque Verde over Pusch Ridge 9-7 in eight innings

April 16, 2024 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

Tanque Verde freshman Gabby Fukunaga. (Andy Morales/AZPreps365)

Pusch Ridge. (Andy Morales/AZPreps365)


It was a good one. No. 13 Tanque Verde gave up a big lead only to comeback and beat No. 20 Pusch Ridge 9-7 in extra innings. The Hawks improved to 12-4 in ranking games, including two wins since the last set of power rankings were released Friday afternoon. The next set of rankings are slated to be released on Tuesday so there might be some action and movement for Tanque Verde and Pusch Ridge.

The Lions are 9-8 in ranking games, having dropped two games since Friday. With teams ranked No. 9-24 moving to the Play-In Tournament, things could get tricky for Pusch Ridge with only one game left in the regular season and that will be a game at No. 45 San Miguel (1-13) on Thursday. Tanque Verde will play at No. 35 Palo Verde (5-9) on Thursday and then finish at home against No. 14 Coolidge (12-3) on Saturday.

The Hawks scored six runs in the top of the second inning, and it looked like the game might end early, but the Lions scored a run in the bottom of the fourth and six of their own in the fifth to take a 7-6 lead. That score held through the sixth but Emily Ryan reached on an error to start the sixth and she advanced to second on the same error. Ryan went to third on a wild pitch and Sara Hoagland brought her in two outs later to tie the game up at 7-7.

The game remained 7-7 through regulation but Bear Hotchkiss singled on an infield hit with two outs in the top of the eighth to put the Hawks in business. Sydney Annibal came in to run for Hotchkiss and she took second and third on an error where Ryan put the ball in play, allowing Annibal to come home on a throw home. Paige Hammarstrom followed with a single to score Ryan to put the Hawks up 9-7. Pusch Ridge was held in check by Gabby Fukunaga in the bottom half of the eighth to preserve the victory.

Fukunaga collected eight strikeouts in the win, Hotchkiss went 2-4 with two RBI and Claire Achilles went 2-5. Marissa Norman and Josie Burnside threw for Pusch Ridge, Christina Treiberg went 3-4 with an RBI, Norman went 2-4 with a double and two RBI, Noelle Sunijkian went 2-4 with an RBI, Jaylee Graham went 2-4 with a double and two RBI and Burnside went 2-4.

Pusch Ridge and Tanque Verde compete in the 3A South Conference and No. 6 Empire (16-1) clinched the region title and No. 12 Sabino (10-4) clinched the second playoff berth from the region.