The Rio Rico Hawks softball team ran their winning streak to four games on Friday when they defeated the Douglas Bulldogs 14-4 at home.
The Hawks have now won six of their last seven contests to raise their record to 7-4 with three games remaining in the regular season.
Friday’s game, Rio Rico’s final contest against a 4A Conference Gila Region foe, started out like a home run derby.
Elizabeth De La Riva hit a two-out homer in the top of the first inning to put the Bulldogs up 2-0. But the Hawks answered in the bottom of the frame when Samantha Alcantar and Kiana Garcilazo both reached on singles and scored.
Kazandra Navarro then broke the tie with a two-run home run over the right field fence, and Aracely Jacobo followed by knocking the ball out of the park to make it back-to-back homers.
The Hawks added three more runs in the second inning after they loaded the bases with two out. Jacobo singled and the ball was misplayed in the outfield, allowing all three runners to score.
After Douglas scored a run in the top of the third, Lucero Vasquez hit a two-run single in the bottom of the inning to make it 10-3. The Hawks plated two more runs in the frame on wild pitches.
In the bottom of the fourth, Peyton Lunderville singled and Regina Inda doubled, and both came in to score on a single by Samantha Alcantar.
With the score 14-3, Rio Rico was an out away from a 10-run-rule victory in the top of the fifth inning when Douglas mounted a last-ditch rally. Annalina Rojas and Isabel Tanabe singled, and Estevannie Rojas hit an RBI double to make it 14-4.
But the next batter flew out to center field and the game was over.
Navarro was the winning pitcher for the Hawks, pitching all five innings. She struck out four and walked none.
With the win over Douglas, Rio Rico finished their 4A Gila Region schedule with a 6-2 record, second-best in the region.
Their three remaining non-region games include home contests April 29 and May 1 against Cholla and Vista Grande, respectively, and May 5 at Sahuaro. Ranked No. 25 in the 4A Conference prior to Friday’s game against Douglas, the Hawks will need to finish in the top 16 to qualify for the state tournament.