With their regular-season opener moved to Prescott Valley thanks to the recent snow covering their field, the Coconino Panthers won a back-and-forth battle against the Bradshaw Mountain Bears, opening the Grand Canyon Region slate as well with the 12-10 victory Thursday.
Kaitlyn Snopek recorded her first win in the circle for the season, striking out five and issuing just one walk while giving up seven earned runs on 13 hits. The junior pounded the strike zone, throwing 93 strikes out of her 136 pitches, and fellow junior Taylor Brown ended the game with a team-high three RBIs.
Snopek faced a 6-1 deficit after two innings, but the Panthers answered with five runs in the top of the third for the tie. With her team down again, 9-8, after five innings, Snopek kept the Bears off the scoreboard in the sixth, and the Panthers -- who committed three errors to Bradshaw's eight -- put up three runs in the sixth and one in the seventh on the way to the win.
Panthers leadoff hitter Brooklynn Wong was 2 for 4 with four runs scored on two hits and a walk, and had two stolen bases. Brown batted in a run on a sacrifice fly and brought in a pair on a single, and McKenna Gladden added two RBIs on a double during her 1-for-3 day. Ashlyn Hernandez and Madelyn Clouse each tallied a RBI for Coconino, which had 10 hits to Bradshaw's 13.
The Panthers play at the Estrella Foothills Wolves for a 4A Conference ballgame Friday before a pair of region games against the Lee Williams Volunteers next week.
BRADSHAW MOUNTAIN 9, COCONINO 4
The Panthers dropped their season and Grand Canyon Region opener on the road in Prescott Valley to the Bears, who scored six runs in the sixth inning to keep Coconino at bay.
Ty Walters went 2 for 3 and had two RBIs for the Panthers, who totaled four stolen bases but struggled to bring runners home. Kyle Casados also had a RBI.
Bradshaw took an early lead courtesy of two runs coming through in the opening frame and three coming home in the second. Coconino chipped away, scoring one in the first and third innings and two in the fifth, but failed to catch up while leaving eight runners on base in the ballgame.
Jack Ginsberg also had a 2-for-3 night for the Panthers and notched two runs scored. Six different Coconino batters struck out in the loss.
Thanks to the snowstorm covering their field, the Panthers' schedule over the next week is to be determined. Home games against Thunderbird and Lee Williams were originally set for Friday and Tuesday.