SOFTBALL: Pusch Ridge moves to 7-0 with win over American Leadership Academy

March 9, 2016 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

Ashley Perdue (Andy Morales/

Pusch Ridge defeated American Leadership Academy 12-2 Wednesday night to remain perfect on the year. The Lions (7-0) have outscored opponents 92-13 including an incredible 50-2 scoring differential to go 4-0 at the PCDS Softball Desert Classic last week.

Dana Wahl coached the Lions to a 23-4 record last year with an extra-inning quarterfinal loss to San Manuel. That 9-inning 12-11 marathon was the last time standout Maddie Dowdle took the field for Pusch Ridge.

Dowdle is now a freshman starter for Grand Canyon, batting .357 with a team-leading four home runs and 21 RBIs. In all, the Lions lost five seniors and junior pitcher Lexi Frithsen transferred to Flowing Wells. Even with half the team gone, it appears the Lions have reloaded and will be competitive for a few more years.

"We will definitely miss Maddie but I think we are still a strong team," junior ace Ashley Perdue said. "We have become really close and it's a little different but I know we will be able to make another run."

Perdue is 3-0 on the year and took the circle against the Patriots Wednesday night. She threw two innings and gave up one walk while her offense scored seven runs in the bottom of the first to pace the team to the run-rule win in five innings.

Freshman Victoria Graham had an RBI double in the first, junior Juliana Martinez went 2-3 and sophomore Jessica Giacoma had a 2-RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to end the game.

American Leadership Academy fell to 1-2 on the year. The Patriots are competing in their first full AIA schedule and will be competing in Division IV, Section V. Junior Alexis McQuarie went 3-3 against Pusch Ridge. Ashley Spindler and Adreana Anderson picked up hits for the Patriots.

Pusch Ridge will start section play on Friday with a visit to Desert Christian (1-1) while American Leadership Academy travels to Parker (0-3) on the same night.

NOTE: Pusch Ridge installed lights on the softball field, making it one of the few fields in the Tucson area with night games which allowed for the 6:30 p.m. start time. The result will be fewer classes missed while allowing more parents to travel to games.