The Division I Arizona state softball bracket will show that Desert Vista lost on Tuesday to fourth-seeded Gilbert.

The final score was 8-2.

In the cold hard facts of a win-or-go home format, there is no denying it, but it doesn’t really feel like it to most of those surrounding the Thunder program.

No one wants to lose but after years of frustration, No. 20 Desert Vista came away winners considering the team is only losing two seniors for a squad that made the second round of the state tournament and won 19 games.

"This game shows the players coming back what can be accomplished," Thunder coach Chris Crowl said. "This was a huge step for the program."

The 20th win would have had a special meaning, but Gilbert (27-5) was just too much.

“They are a really strong club,” Crowl said by cell phone. “They got up on us early and kept the pressure on.”

Gilbert advances to face Mountain Ridge on Thursday in the Elite Eight as the tournament now becomes a double-elimination format.

The Tigers took a 4-0 lead after three innings and the Thunder never closed the gap - 5-1 and 6-2  - before Gilbert put it away with a couple of runs late.

“We played good for four innings,” Crowl said. “The other three we couldn’t match them and make plays at the right time. To win at this level you can’t have any let ups.”

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

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