The fifth-seeded Coconino Panthers are on to the second round of the 4A state softball tournament with a 6-1 win over 12th-seed Tucson Pueblo Saturday in Flagstaff. The Warriors got out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning after Mariah Lopez’s RBI triple. Pueblo led until the third inning, when Coconino loaded the bases for KodyLynn Watson, who belted a grand slam home run to give the Panthers a 4-1 lead. Hannah Thornsley added a solo home run in the five-run inning to extend the Panthers lead to 5-1. Freshman pitcher Kaitlyn Tso helped herself out with a solo home run in the fifth to go up 6-1. Tso was dominant on the mound as she struck out ten in a complete game outing. Coconino will now head to Surprise Tuesday to take on fourth-seeded Paradise Honors, who beat 13th-seed Seton Catholic 1-0 Saturday. The tournament now goes into double-elimination play through to the state championship game. Tuesday’s game starts at 4 p.m. In playoff games involving other Grand Canyon Region teams, eighth-seeded Bradshaw Mountain beat ninth-seeded Poston Butte 9-0, seventh-seeded Mingus beat tenth-seeded Flagstaff 13-3 and 14th-seeded Prescott fell to second-seed Canyon del Oro 12-1 in five innings. In baseball, 16th-seeded Mingus fell to top-seeded Poston Butte 8-7, eighth-seeded Bradshaw Mountain fell to ninth-seeded Saguaro 8-2, 15th-seeded Prescott fell to second-seed Walden Grove 13-1 in six innings and 14th-seeded Flagstaff fell to third-seeded Salpointe Catholic 10-1.
After the game, Dave caught up with Coconino coach Kimberly Dennis about the game and going forward. To listen to the interview, click here: