There she was again, lassoing the competition in the annual Wranglers Classic softball tournament in Wickenburg. Yvette Alvarez dominated from the mound and intimidated opposing pitchers at the plate.
Last year, Alvarez pitched her Sahuarita High School team to the tournament title. She was there again this year, this time posting a 9-6 victory over Palo Verde HS in the championship game.
Palo Verde had traveled all the way from Blythe, Calif., to compete in the Wrangler Classic, the seventh year the tournament has been played. This year, it attracted 24 teams from all over the state, playing a total of 72 games over Friday and Saturday.
The field was an across-the-board sampling of high school softball at various levels, from 5A down through 2A and 1A. Five of those teams have won their respective Arizona state championships during the past four years, including little St. Josephs, state champions in 1A seven of the past 10 years.
Sahuarita, a 4A-II school just south of Tucson, worked its way through the tournament without a loss. In the quarter-finals, the Mustangs beat 4A-I Peoria HS, 4-2, propelled by a three-run homer from its freshman catcher, Sigourney Sanchez. In the semis, the Mustangs defeated Dysart HS, a 4A-I school in El Mirage, in a 16-2 rout.
Willcox HS took third place via a 9-2 win over Dysart.
In addition to her work on the mound, Alvarez uncorked a couple of home runs and Monique Duran from Dysart also had a pair of round-trippers.
Her work at the plate and on the mound combined to earn the tournament MVP award for Alvarez, who was also named to the All-Tournament team.
Others selected to the All-Tournament team: Tiffany Ibarra (Santa Cruz), Nikki Dunlap (Willcox), Monique Duran (Dysart), Kylie Strand (Willow Canyon), Rachel Thompson (Peoria), Tori Hill (Snowflake), Andrea Howertin (Lake Havasu), Cassing Roessing (Goldwater), Hayley Page (River Valley), Stacy Rameriz (Benson), Kayla Haro (Benson), Kaelin Sprawls (Palo Verde), Courtney Ploesch (Palo Verde), Sigourney Sanchez (Sahuarita).
The team sportsmanship award went to Nogales HS.