Softball Heads to 6A State Championship


Ellie Gotschall

Junior Amiya Hernandez swinging the bat at the 6A championship against Basha. The team lost to Basha 1-4, but became the runner ups.

For the first time in school history, the softball team went to the 6A state championship. 

Under the guidance of first-year head coach Nathan Harder, the team (21-9) earned the No. 4 seed in the playoffs and have had statement wins over Pinnacle (14) , Hamilton (5) , Red Mountain (6) , and – perhaps the biggest win in program history – a 12-3 dismantling of top-seeded Queen Creek (1) in the quarterfinals.

Junior Sienna Kunze has played a large role in softballs’ postseason success – the junior shortstop hit two homeruns in the Hamilton game alone, and cites team chemistry as a major contributor to the team’s title run. “I think our team energy was good and it just brought the team together,” she explained, “and it’s a fun environment and we play for each other.”  She also mentioned that the team’s routines at practice have helped them become more consistent. “I knew that what we were doing in practice had been working,” she said. “It also has prepared us for the game and to be ready to play.” 

When looking at the results, it looks as though the team has crashed to the title game, but assistant Coach Shaundra Guiterrez believes that there have been some obstacles. “I think the most challenging thing is staying focused because it is so late in the season and to be able to jump over that hurdle of what the big game is,” Guiterrez said. Once the challenge has been balanced, Guiterrez said that the game would run smoothly. 

Sophomore left fielder Sammie Kaufman-Warner with the homeruns helped boost the morale of the gameplay, and helped with the position in the playoffs. “Number one, it [the homeruns] made our energy way more hype, way more relaxed when we were playing, which made us have better plays and just to do our jobs and not worry about the scoreboard.” 

Confidence boosts chemistry and the workouts helped the team have the motivation to keep going. The home runs and winning the game has helped as well. The stress of the playoff game helped maintain an optimistic mindset and positive attitude towards the game season.

The softball team made it up to the finals at Farrington Stadium to play Basha (2). However, the team lost 1-4 to Basha, but they became the 6A runner ups.