Jackson Shaw
ASU Student Journalist

Desert Mountain takes home its second straight state championship trophy

May 13, 2024 by Jackson Shaw, Arizona State University

Desert Mountain lifts the 5A state championship trophy after defeating Canyon View 3-1 to bring home its second consecutive title. (Jackson Shaw/azpreps365) Jackson Shaw Photo/AZPreps365 Jackson Shaw photo AZPreps365

The Desert Mountain Wolves (32-4) took down the Canyon View Jaguars (29-3) 3-1 to bring home their second straight state title from Arizona State’s Farrington Stadium.

The Wolves entered the game with the full intention of winning it again. They edged out a close one against No. 2 Chapparal on Friday to put them in this position.

They were the dominant force in 5A and were favored to win Monday night's game against the Jaguars. However, Canyon View is no stranger to the bright lights of a championship stage.

In only four years as a varsity softball program, the Jaguars have already reached three state title games. The Jaguars also pummeled the Wolves 7-2 during a regular season tournament game earlier this season.

But, like last year, Monday’s 5A title game was an all-out show from star sophomore pitcher Lilly "Goose" Goodwin, who didn’t pitch the first time the teams met during the 2024 regular season. With a 0.51 ERA on the season, Goodwin stood out among the best pitchers in the state of Arizona again.

"She's the ultimate competitor. She has so much confidence and swagger, but at the same time she's such a humble and great kid," Desert Mountain head coach Chris Fredericks said about his star pitcher, who fanned 11 batters Monday. 

The students of Canyon View did not let Goodwin work in silence. When she was in the circle ready to throw a pitch, she faced constant yelling from the stands.

"When there's people screaming at you, both positive and negative, it's a little difficult to concentrate, but I know my team had my back," Goodwin said. "Even if I made a few mental errors, I knew they'd pick me up."

The first four innings exhibited a full display of great pitching from both sides.

Canyon View junior pitcher Emily Davis only let a couple of balls get past her, and, alongside the work of the Jaguar defense, they didn’t allow any runs for the majority of the game.

It wasn't until the sun started setting over the Tempe skyline in the fifth inning that things started to heat up. Canyon View senior Sadie Kirk, playing in the last game of her 12 home run season, stepped up to bat.

She clocked an 0-2 pitch over the left fielder’s head, bringing junior Brooklyn Theiler home to tie the game at 1-1.

Theiler, the courtesy runner, had stolen second base before Kirk’s double. But, with Kirk at second, Desert Mountain then escaped the inning after it was ruled Kirk left second before a pitch during a stolen base attempt.

In the bottom of the fifth, Goodwin showed why her bat is just as good as her arm. With two outs, a full count and runners on second and third, the left-handed Goodwin connected, sending a pitch to left-center to get seniors Emmy McAleer and Mackenzie Durr home and give Desert Mountain a 3-1 lead.

The final two innings displayed the pitching talents of both teams once again, as a couple more strikeouts concluded this game with no more hits. The 29-4 Jaguars fought hard, were rewarded with a runner-up trophy and made Desert Mountain (33-4) earn the title.

"We have great kids, great players, but at the same time, we have even better people," Fredericks said. "As a team, when they come together, man, it's all business."