Sierra Vista’s Mia Buranamontri was just hoping for a single when she came to the plate in the seventh inning on Thursday.
She got a little bit more than that.
Buranamontri drove a two-run homer over the center-field fence with one out to lift the Mountain Lions to a 5-3 road victory over Palo Verde.
“Honestly, I was just trying to get a base hit,” Buranamontri said. “And then I see it go over the fence and my mind was just blown.”
Eighth-ranked Palo Verde scored a run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game 3-3, but No. 9 Sierra Vista (1-2) had the right part of the batting order coming to the plate in the seventh.
After No. 2 hitter Tyerra Kaaialii was retired on a sharp line drive to center, Hola Rosalia Nakayama walked and went to second on a wild pitch to set up Buranamontri’s blast. Buranamontri finished 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs.
“She’s our MVP from last year,” Sierra Vista coach Raul Almaguer said. “She came (through) in the clutch. You pitch to her, and she’s going to definitely do some damage.”
The Mountain Lions rebounded after losing to Centennial and Rancho the previous two days. Sierra Vista was outscored 25-8 in those two losses.
“We’ve been struggling these past days, but this really just gives us our confidence back that we knew we had,” Buranamontri said.
Ryan Watkins was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, and Nakayama went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs for the Mountain Lions.
Jessica Schneider allowed one earned run on five hits to get the win.
Alyssa Maillaro was 2-for-4 for Palo Verde (2-5), which has advanced to the region title game in nine consecutive seasons.
“Palo, they’ve been strong for years,” Buranamontri said. “Winning over them is going to give us the boost we need to just keep powering through.”