Sun, Sept. 22

CV softball holds own against bigger schools in Payson

Camp Verde High went 4-3 at the Gracie Lee Haught Classic in Payson, almost winning the consolation bracket championship.

The Cowboys opened the tournament with an 18-0 win over Joseph City last Thursday. Sophomore Jacy Finley led the way with 5 RBIs and 3 hits.

“We handled them pretty well,” said head coach Henry Smith. “We hit good and everything we worked on all week, they were able to come out and execute. We pitched well, everything was just smooth.”

Finley struck out 11.

“We did pretty good,” Finley said about the tournament. “We played a lot of bigger schools, which definitely is going to help us in the long run, especially preparing for State and everything. It was a big tournament and we all definitely progressed from the first game to the last.”

Then in their second game on Thursday, the Cowboys beat Show Low 9-5. Sophomore Bennett Holm went 4-for-4 and drove in four runs.

On Friday Camp Verde lost 4-3 to 4A Apache Junction.

Smith said it was good to see the girls fight back.

“We knew they were going to be good, they’re an upper division team, they’re doing well in their division and basically it was one of the first times that a team came up and hit us hard and we had to figure out how to answer back and took us a little longer than expected,” Smith said.

In the other Friday game, Camp Verde lost 14-7 to Winslow.

“Winslow’s a very competitive team, they’re a well coached team,” Smith said. “We basically made some errors but they gave it to us, they played tough, they have really good pitching and offense as well.”

In their first game Saturday, the start of bracket play, the Cowboys beat Apache Junction 4-3. Freshman Cassandra Casillas drove in a couple runs.

Then the Cowboys beat longtime rival Payson 5-4. Smith said he and Payson head coach Curtis Johnson have similar styles.

“They’ve always been a rival, they’re a well-coached team, they have great pitching, they’re just a really good team and we battled it out,” Smith said.

The Cowboys lost the consolation bracket championship game 4-2 to 6A Tucson Rincon/University. The Rangers want 6-1 in the tournament, falling only to Mingus Union, 13-5.

“They’re doing well in division 6,” Smith said. “We were definitely over matched, they were bigger, stronger, had some good pitching, but still we stayed right with them. It was a close game through out.”

After the tournament, Camp Verde beat Tonopah Valley 21-0 on the road.

The Cowboys return to action on Tuesday when they host Glendale Prep at 4 p.m.

“They’re riding some momentum right now,” Smith said. “Everybody’s a little bit sore, a little bit beat up but other than that, everybody is still very healthy.”

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