There are times in sports when it is just not going to happen.

An athlete is in the zone and no matter what the opposition does to counteract it isn’t enough.

The Desert Vista softball team knows all about it after watching Mesa Mountain View’s Valerie Kaff put on a fantastic pitching performance Wednesday in a 4-0 loss in the third-round of the Division I state playoffs at Rose Mofford Sports Complex.

Kaff threw a complete-game one-hitter with 19 strikeouts. The only Thunder batters to reach bases after Naomi Ricciotti's leadoff single off the Michigan State recruit was a hit batter and a defensive error.

“Valerie just dominated,” Thunder coach Chris Crowl said. “When a pitcher is in a groove like that you can try bunting and make adjustments. She was sitting on the outside and the kids made the adjustment, but we didn’t execute.”

The Thunder (21-12) drop to the consolation bracket and will take on No. 8 Horizon (27-5) on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Mofford.

“When you get to this point (final eight) you can have a bad game and still have a chance to come back,” said Crowl, whose team lost 5-0 to Horizon earlier this season. “We have to fight from the get go, focus mentally and play our hearts out.”

The fifth-seeded Toros (26-6) advance the semifinals of the championship bracket and will face No. 1 Mountain Ridge on Tuesday.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN

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