Camp Verde High softball cruised in the opening game of their state tournament campaign.
The No. 2 Cowboys beat No. 15 Phoenix Arizona Lutheran 7-0 on Saturday in the first round of the state tournament at Rose Mofford Sports Complex in Phoenix.
“It went well,” CV head coach Henry Smith said. “My main concern was being that we’re so young, how were we going to perform under the bigger spotlight and they did well. They performed as expected and we were able to carry out our plan. They did well.”
The Cowboys face No. 7 Goodyear Trivium Prep in the quarterfinals on Friday at 6 p.m. at Rose Mofford. The winner advances to the semifinals Saturday at 10 a.m. at Rose Mofford.
Against Arizona Lutheran, freshman Jenna Huey had two RBIs, scored a run and hit a double and freshman Cassandra Casillas was 3-for-4 with an RBI, a double and a run. Senior Jade Oium hit double doubles.
“I think the difference with our freshmen is that they’re more experienced than some of our older athletes,” Smith said. “They play a lot, they play a lot in the offseason, they work hard. This is the hardest working group of freshmen I’ve ever had. As far as game experience, they probably have more games than our older players. So I’m not worried about whether they’re going to perform, it’s just a matter of any given day it’s the unknown and they’re expecting that, they’re prepared to play, so I don’t think that they have any nerves because it’s a bigger game I think they’re all just very excited to get the game on.”
Trivium Prep opened the tournament with an 11-4 win over No. 10 Eloy Santa Cruz Valley.
“We haven’t seen them play at any level, so they’re new to us,” Smith said. “I watched them play a little bit this weekend. They’re good, they’re a good team, they were able to beat Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz stayed with them the whole game and I know we always have trouble with Santa Cruz, so I think at this level, probably everybody is very similar in ability and it’s per game and I think our girls are going to show up to play. I know we can hit off of any pitcher in the tournament and defensively I think we can keep the runs down.”
Although the tournament has a long gap between the first and second rounds, Smith said he’s not worried about the Cowboys losing momentum. They’ve won 13 straight.
“We talked about you have two seasons, you have the regular season and then you have the tournament season, so now that we’re in the tournament season,” Smith said. “We know what to expect and at this point there isn’t a whole lot of room for improvement, just to fine tune and sharpen us up and that’s what we’ve done this week, we’ve had very relaxed practices and just the fundamentals again and stay in shape, keep our heart rate up and do a lot of mental work, that’s kinda where we’re at (Wednesday) and this week.”