Celebra-tions abound immediat-ely after the May 7 Lady Vikings state playoff game in Tempe, against Pusch Ridge. Through a medley of strong defense and team effort, the ladies shut the door on the Pusch Ridge Lions 1-0 — their first state playoff victory in seven years. Whenever the Lions would threaten to score, there was always a great and usually flawless Vikes play to put down the rally. Though the ladies lost the next day to Scottsdale Christian, Lady Vikes Coach Ann Wells is confident the team will be a strong contender next season.
From the first inning, when the Vikes threw out a Lion runner at third base, to the final play of the game, the ladies’ defense was flawless. Whenever the Lions would threaten to score, there was always a great Vikes play to put down the rally.
The only scoring in the game came in the first inning with two outs. Tami Edes singled and advanced to second base on an overthrow. Williams High School senior, Sylvia Aguilar, came up and knocked a single to right field that scored Edes.
That was more than enough offense for pitcher Michelle Sandoval. With a solid Lady Vikings defense behind her, Sandoval pitched all seven innings for a clean and tidy shut-out win.
Coach Ann Wells said that strong defense was the reason the Lady Vikes changed their fortunes at state this year. She also said that execution and a heads-up team effort also helped the Lady Vikes get the playoff monkey off their back. Friday’s win was the first state playoff win for the Lady Vikes in seven years. Wells also added that the Lady Vikes just played the way that they play, and that is why they moved on to Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Unfortunately, the buck stopped there.
Saturday, the Lady Vikes ran into a solid Scottsdale Christian team that ended the Williams season with a lopsided loss.
Even with the loss on Saturday, the Lady Vikes still had a great season that started with a tournament win in Laughlin, and it was capped with a great win on Friday at the state playoffs.
In the middle, the Lady Vikes had a double-digit win streak and a split for the conference crown. The Lady Vikes were actually the only team in the conference to hang a loss on St. Johns all year. According to Wells, the season that the Lady Vikes had was better than anyone expected of them.
Next season the Vikes have many key players returning, both from the Varsity and J.V. level, so Wells expects the Lady Vikes to be competitive and a strong contender again next season.
Players, coaches, and staff will be recognized at a special sports awards dinner on May 20 at 6 p.m. The location has yet to be decided.