Green Valley falls after overcoming early 9-0 hole

Green Valley’s softball team would have preferred to go home with a first-place trophy Wednesday.

But what the Gators learned from a loss in the Bronze Bracket title game of the Fred Davison Memorial Tournament may be more valuable.

Green Valley erased a 9-0 first-inning deficit, tying the game in the second inning, before falling to Ramona (Calif.), 11-9 at West Flamingo Fields.

“I could not be more proud of our girls,” Green Valley coach Lauren Taylor said. “This is going to boost us tremendously going into the (regular) season.”

The Gators probably should have been stunned in the top of the first inning when Ramona sent 13 batters to the plate. Kristina Wright tripled, doubled and drove in five runs before Green Valley picked up a bat.

Yet the Gators, who rebounded from losses Monday and Tuesday to play well in their second game each day, merely shrugged their shoulders and went to work.

Breanna Yard’s two-run, two-out single capped a three-run first inning.

The Gators then sent 11 batters to the plate in the second and scored six runs to tie the game.

Alicia Firelein’s two-run single brought the Gators within a run, and Jaqui Capparelli’s fly ball to left was misplayed, allowing Ali Bodnar to score the tying run.

The Gators, though, couldn’t push across a go-ahead run.

Ramona responded with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to escape with the win.

Green Valley went 3-3 in the tournament despite playing in the toughest pool to begin the event.

Three of the four teams in the Gators’ pool played for bracket titles Wednesday.

“We faced some awesome teams in this tournament,” Taylor said. “That’s only going to help us. These girls are going to turn some heads this year.”

Valhalla (Calif.) 10, Cimarron-Memorial 0 — Valhalla’s Celina Cruz threw a four-inning perfect game to help her team win the Copper Bracket championship on the mercy rule.

Valhalla scored five runs in the first to give Cruz more support than she needed.

Cimarron-Memorial 11, Mar Vista (Calif.) 2 — The Spartans scored seven runs in the first inning and cruised to the win in the Copper semifinals.

Chelsea Williams had a home run and four RBIs for Cimarron.

Green Valley 12, Hilltop (Calif.) 2 — Ali Bodnar was 3-for-3 with a home run, a triple, three runs scored and four RBIs to lead the Gators into the Bronze title game.

In consolation games:

Sierra Vista 9, Madison (Calif.) 8 — The Lions battled back from a 6-3 deficit with a five-run fifth inning.

Winning pitcher Amelia McIntosh went 2-for-3 and scored three runs for Sierra Vista.

Coronado 5, Clark 2 — Kelsie Fahr hit a home run to help the Cougars beat the Chargers.

Valley 7, Faith Lutheran 6 — The Vikings built a 7-1 lead before holding off the Crusaders. Lorena Villamar was 2-for-4 with a home run, a triple and four RBIs for Valley.

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