Madison Seigworth is 2-0 in state championship appearances
Chandler Hamilton coach Rocky Parra could have given the ball to any of three pitchers Monday.
But, for the state championship, it became an easy choice.
Junior Madison Seigworth came through in the 6A final for the second year in a row, pitching Hamilton to a 7-2 victory over Phoenix Pinnacle on Monday night at Arizona State’s Farrington Stadium.
Last year, Seigworth pitched Hamilton to a 3-0 victory over Pinnacle in the final.
Seigworth went the distance Monday, changing speeds on her pitches, keeping Pinnacle’s batters off balance.
She struck out 12, nine through the first four innings, walked only one, and gave up seven hits. Three of those hits came in the sixth inning when Pinnacle (34-2) scored its only runs.
“Unbelievable,” said Seigworth, who has committed to Butler. “To play Pinnacle again, it was so nerve-racking. They’ve got a good team. We couldn’t let our guard down.”
Despite Hamilton coming into the final with a .426 batting average, a pitcher’s duel was anticipated with Phoenix Pinnacle ace Marissa Schuld in the circle.
Schuld came in with a 22-0 record and 0.56 ERA, averaging two strikeouts an inning.
Hamilton struck first on Macy Simmons’ single into center field, driving in Ali Ashner, who opened the fourth with a double off the wall.
Schuld pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, getting No. 3 hitter Abby Anderson to strikeout.
But she couldn’t escape trouble in the sixth, as Hamilton showed why it was the best-hitting team in the state.
Simmons began the inning with a home run. Taylor Gindlesperger and Seigworth both doubled and No.9 batter Nikki Gonzales contributed an RBI single.
“I’ve faced her before so I knew where she was going to pitch me,” Simmons said. “I just tried to do my best for my team.”
Hamilton scored four runs in the sixth inning. And Schuld’s night was done at pitcher.
CC Cook came on in the seventh and gave up a two-run homer to sophomore Lorena Vasquez-Inzunza, building the lead to 7-2.
Pinnacle’s only two losses came against Hamilton (30-6). It had come into the game ranked No. 2 nationally by CBS MaxPreps.
But Parra knew he had the best hitters in the state.
“They have great pitchers,” Parra said. “I always felt from day one, we had better hitters.”
Parra said felt he could make his outfield defense stronger with pitcher Abby Andersen in right field.
Seigworth again was spectacular.
BASEBALL: State tournament scores, schedules
SOFTBALL: State tournament scores, schedules