After suffering a tough loss to Corona del Sol on Tuesday, a bounce-back game was exactly what Desert Vista needed.
The Thunder (5-2, 1-1 in power rankings) bounced back on both sides of the field, beating Dobson 13-0 at home on Wednesday. Danielle Block pitched a five-inning shutout as she struck out 10 batters and allowed only five hits and one walk.
“Dani’s pitching lights out right now,” Desert Vista coach Chris Crowl said. “She’s been giving us some great innings. She’s pitching solidly.”
While the pitching was there from Block, the Thunder also found the offensive component of their game that has been inconsistent so far this season.
Pitching for Dobson (5-7-1, 0-2), Kevra Smith allowed two singles and a walk to start the game, loading the bases for senior Emily Panther.
Panther doubled to the left-center field, scoring all three runners. She went 3-for-3, driving in four runs and scored two runs.
Desert Vista opened the floodgates from that point on, scoring five, three and four runs in the first three innings, respectively.
Other Thunder standouts included junior Rebecca Perez, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI, two runs and a stolen base, and sophomore Michaela Duarte, who went 2-for-3 with two RBI, a walk and three runs.
“Our bats are starting to come around and get us consistency through the top of the order and all the way through the bottom,” Crowl said. “Right now, I’m seeing some good phases of the game coming through for us.”
While Smith got the loss, allowing 12 runs on 14 hits, she didn’t have much help from her teammates defensively. Two errors were made by the Mustangs, to go along with many poorly-played balls in the infield. Smith also struck out two and walked two.
“We just (have to) keep positive with each other on our team,” Dobson coach Jim Faul said. “We just have to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played and we’ll be fine.”
Block believes things are looking up for Desert Vista if the way the Thunder are playing in the early going is any indication.
“We’re definitely turning it around this season,” Block said. “We’re going to flip the wins and losses this time, not have double-digit losses.”
• Chris Cole is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. He is a sophomore at Arizona State University.