The Maricopa High School varsity baseball and softball teams have hit a wall.
After great starts from the boys (5-3) and girls (7-3), the teams have only one win apiece since April began. Both teams will miss out on the state playoffs and will try to end the season on a high note.
The baseball team will play its final home game under the “Friday Night Lights” and will honor the seniors in a pre-game ceremony at 6:30 p.m. with first pitch at 7 p.m.
The opponent will be Valley Christian High School from Chandler. The Trojans are from a lower division based on school population but look to be heading to the Division III playoffs with a 12-9 overall record and 6-3 in section 4.
Twelve seniors will be honored on Friday night including team batting-average leaders Noah Anderson (.333) and Tristan Hartley (.308). Bernardo Juarez, who is tied for the team’s best fielding percentage (1.000) will also be honored.
The biggest hit will be in the pitching rotation with starters Dallas Speer, Dillon Moran and the aforementioned Hartley bidding farewell to the red and black. Senior reliever Michael Gunter had a season-ending surgery on Monday; he is at home recovering and will likely miss the ceremony.
Jesus Orci-Vega, Michael Ashe, Derik Johnson, Eduardo Martinez, JJ Salaz and Colton Rosales will be honored as well.
Following Friday night’s game, the Rams travel to Yuma to take on Cibola High (5-12, 4-8 section 7) on Monday at 4 p.m. and then finish the season in San Tan Valley at Poston Butte High School at 6 p.m. The Broncos are 8-14 overall and 3-5 in section 6.
The softball team traveled to Tucson to take on the top two teams in the section and was dismissed unceremoniously in back-to-back, run-rule games. The girls will play their final two games at home hosting Cibola (13-10, 8-4 section) at 4 p.m. and Poston Butte (3-24, 1-6 section) on Wednesday night at 6 p.m.
The softball team will bid adieu to several starters including the heart of the team in catcher Madi Moncel, second baseman Chelsea Trejo and third baseman Madi Byrd.
Moncel leads the team in batting average (.456) and hits (31), while tied with the team lead for triples (3) and home runs (1). Trejo is team leader in runs scored (24) and tied for team lead with eight doubles also places second in batting average at (.412) and hits with 28.
Moncel signed a letter of intent in February to play at Colby Community College, a two-year college in Kansas. She previously told InMaricopa.com that if things go well in Kansas, she hopes to go to the University of Illinois to play ball.
Byrd closely follows Moncel and Trejo with a .397 batting average, 27 hits, 23 runs scored and is tied for Trejo with eight doubles and tied with Moncel with a home run.
Shortstop Rosie Naranjo, a 21-game starter will also finish her season along with outfielder Kaylee Darnall and utility player Sydnee Akers.