The Maricopa Heritage Academy varsity softball team is proving to be a powerhouse on the diamond as they secured their second Division 1-2 State Championship title in as four seasons.
After an undefeated 15-0 season and two post-season semifinals, the Heroes headed to Arizona State University’s Farrington Stadium for the state championship game on May 9.
The Heroes beat Heritage Academy Mesa 7-6 to claim the title.
“From the jump, it was a nail biter of a game,” coach Derek Zappa said.
They entered the crucial 7th inning trailing 4-6, but Zappa said his roster rose to the challenge.
Bailey LaBounty tripled and scored sims, making the game 5-6, then Jordyn Taylor knocked in another run to tie the game.
And with the winning run just 60 feet away from home plate, Brooke Anderson stepped up to bat.
“Ms. Anderson hit a bomb in the right-center gap, bringing home Valerie Camacho for the state championship title,” Zappa said.
Anderson earned Player of the Game honors for her performance, which included a single, triple and four putouts.
Other standout players include sophomore Kenia Martin on the mound, who had an amazing seventh-inning performance, Zappa said.
Hero’s catcher Payton Duncan contributed one hit and four putouts, while center fielder Aiyanna Sims showcased her baserunning.
With an energized crowd and a cheer battle echoing in the stands, Zappa said all 12 players contributed to the second of the back-to-back state titles.
“The Mesa team has a group of talented players and coaches and they battled to the bitter end to make it one of the most exciting games ever,” he said.
Zappa recognized assistant coach Becca Robinson and volunteer Joe Klepfer for bringing the skills and the energy to the season.
“There is a hero inside each one of us,” Zappa said.