St. David pulls off upset at the Tucson Badger Softball Invite


Rylie Vargas. Andy Morales/ Photo.

Rylie Vargas. Andy Morales/ Photo.


St. David was the Class 1A runner up in 2011 and is now playing in their new Division IV placement but they are doing what all smaller teams should during invitational season – play up against tougher competition.

The losses in invitationals aren’t held against you as far as power points go and the wins technically don’t count either but the rewards can be immeasurable if you happen to pull off an upset.

The Blue Devils spent their most successful years in the “Big School” 5A-II Division where they finished in second place in 2010 and won it all in 2007 but the recent move to have no Division I teams in Southern Arizona meant Sunnyside would now be playing in D-II with all the other major powers in Southern Arizona.

The only place a D-II team would ever meet a D-IV team would be at an invitational and that’s what happened at the Tucson Badger Invite Thursday morning with St. David taking on Sunnyside.

St. David suffered a 15-0 loss to Tucson High on Wednesday night and a 15-0 loss to Sabino late Thursday afternoon but they had a little magic in between.

Rylie Vargas and Kayla Bradford are two of Southern Arizona’s most successful athletes but you have never heard of them unless you live near Benson or keep up with high school sports on this site.

Vargas and Bradford were part of St. David’s volleyball championship in the fall and Bradford was part of the school’s second place finish in basketball and they both came up big against Sunnyside.

Vargas kept Sunnyside off the scoreboard until the bottom of the 7th inning where she gave up a run after loading the bases but she had an insurance run thanks a 2-RBI double from Bradford earlier in the game.

“This feels awesome,” said Vargas. “When they had the bases loaded at the end I knew my defense would back me up and they did. I didn’t get too nervous. I just played because that’s what I do.”

Sunnyside scored a run with the bases loaded with only one out and Vargas survived two more tense outs to get the win. One single and the game would have been lost.

“I didn’t expect to be having this kind of senior year” added Bradford. “But I knew we would finish this game.”

In other action, Tucson High defeated Canyon del Oro 10-9 on Tuesday. It is uncertain when the Badgers had ever beaten CDO before but they did it when it counted in a regular season game but Empire got the best of them on Thursday with 6-5 win to go 2-0 at the invite.

Empire senior Kaelyn Smith hit a grand slam in the Raven’s win earlier in the day and Kelsey Smith (no relation) hit a 2-run shot and Gracie Taber hit a single shot to tie the Tucson High game up at 5-5 and Kelsey Smith would score on a passed ball for the win.

Arryana Bracamonte has a hot bat for Flowing Wells and they are now 2-1 after going 4-0 at the CDO tourney to start the season. Sabino is 3-0 with a new coaching staff consisting of Joe Crane, Shannah Biggan and Charlie Riesgo.

Wednesday, March 12
Sunnyside 3, Pueblo 0
Desert View 9, Foothills 1
Nogales 12, Cholla 0
Buena 9, Rio Rico 0
Empire 7, Marana 4
Sabino 5, Mt. View 0
Tucson 15, St. David 0
Flowing Wells 10, Rincon 7

Thursday, March 12
St. David 2, Sunnyside 1
Foothills 9, Cholla 2
Empire 16, Flowing Wells 1
Sabino 5, Nogales 3
Sabino 15, St. David 0
Nogales 6, Rio Rico 3
Empire 6, Tucson 5
Flowing Wells 7, Buena 5

Friday, March 13
Sabino/Flowing Wells, 8 am
St. David/Foothills, 8 am
Rio Rico/ Pueblo, 10 am
Tucson/Cholla, 10 am
Foothills/Rio Rico, noon
Empire/Sunnyside, noon
Desert View/Sunnyside, 2 pm
Rincon/Nogales, 2 pm
Mt. View/Cholla, 4 pm
Buena/Marana, 4 pm

Saturday, March 14
Bracket Play
8 am- 8 pm publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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