Sat, July 20

Rare rainout postpones baseball, softball DH's

Staff photo by Eric Lusk

FRIDAY's drenching gave Mike Mier and the Cowboys a day off.

The Cowboy softball team also lost its doubleheader against the Cougars and must adjust its schedule later in the month.

Both sets of games were expected to help define the early season 3A West Region standings. Especially in baseball, Camp Verde and Chino look like the teams to beat. Chino doesn’t appear as strong in softball, though the Cowboys are pursuing the top spot.

"Everyone is really disappointed," Mier said. "We worked really hard to get ready for this."

Sedona’s baseball-softball doubleheader with Wickenburg also was rained out on Friday.

With every West team having to play all the others three times this spring, let’s just hope these rained out doubleheaders don’t become tripleheaders sometime down the road…

LOOK OUT FOR PAYSON: Mingus Union and Flagstaff have become synonymous with top flight softball in the Grand Canyon Region over the year. The Eagles and Marauders have played in the last six GCR tournament championship games, with Flag taking five and Mingus one.

But both teams had better watch their backs this spring. Newcomer Payson, which just moved into the league from 3A, looks ready to become an immediate challenger to the crown. The Longhorns played Flagstaff tough on Thursday before losing 1-0 on the Eagles’ home diamond.

The Eagles needed a one-hitter from pitcher Rhiannon Baca to prevail. Baca scored the game’s lone run in the fifth inning after a throwing error.

Payson (9-7 overall record) got a four-hitter from their pitcher, Brenna Zumbro. All the hits were singles.

Mingus lost to Flagstaff 8-1 on Tuesday and survived a scare from Coconino on Thursday before winning 10-6. The Marauders play at Payson this Thursday.

Overall, the Longhorns have been a nice addition to the GCR. They’ve been competitive in nearly every sport and won the region title in wrestling.

OFF TRACK? Track and field seems to be losing its appeal at local high schools. Mingus Union, Camp Verde and Sedona Red Rock all report lower numbers this season as compared with recent years.

There are a few diehards who consider track their number one pursuit, but for most participants it seems the sport is just a way of staying in shape in the spring or getting ready for other sports like football or soccer.

One detractor might be that none of our local schools have an all-weather track. For the second year in a row, Mingus is choosing not to host a meet on its all-dirt track. Camp Verde will host one, and Sedona Red Rock two.

Unfortunately, installing an all-weather track, which many of the newer schools in the Phoenix area have, is an expensive proposition. And these aren’t the economic times for school systems to shell out tens of thousands of dollars on sports facilities.

Camp Verde coach Lori Showers also believes student-athletes shy away from the sport because of the individual effort needed to be successful. She had students tell her they would come out this year only if they could throw and didn’t have to run.

Needless to say, they aren’t part of the team.

"This is track. You will do some running," says Showers, who has about 15 on her team right now, mostly JV kids. "It’s a sport you have to work in, and I think some kids today don’t want to work hard.

"The kids I do have are the best kids on campus. I’m not complaining because I don’t have a bit of discipline problems."

Saturday’s Camp Verde Invitational was rained out and has been tentatively rescheduled for Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., Showers said.