Home Sports Local Sports Dexter defies odds to advance to quarterfinals

Dexter defies odds to advance to quarterfinals

Dexter’s pitcher Aryana Munoz allowed one run in tournament action as she struck out 12 batters as Dexter won 6-1. (Jeannie Harris Photo)

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Dexter first baseman Yajaira Sosa awaits the ball from an infielder. Dexter defeats St. Michael’s 6-1 Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals for the fifth year in a row. (Jeannie Harris Photo)

When it comes to springtime at Dexter, there are certain things for sure. Death, taxes and Dexter softball. Dynasties die hard and if teams didn’t get the Lady Demons this year, it’s almost for sure they won’t in the future.

Most of the teams in 3A thought they would make a living off of the Lady Demons this year. Why? Dexter had lost coach Kim Smith, and all-everything pitcher Bryana Munoz, and Marlou Blankvoort, Allyssa Madden, Dominique Silvas and Kassandra Madrid. All they did was lead the Demons to a four-peat of the Blue Trophy. Dexter would be breaking in a new coach, and the most experienced pitcher, Aryana Munoz, would be out most of the season with a torn ACL injury.

On Wednesday, the No. 7 seed Dexter Demons, used a big four-run fifth inning to turn back the No. 10 seed St. Michael’s Lady Horsemen, 6-1 at Demon Softball Field. Aryana Munoz, in only her third game back, showed she is ready to help her team defend their championship.

Dexter doesn’t have the record they normally do, at 13-14; but they went 8-1 to win district and then with the win on Wednesday, they advanced to the quarterfinals to take on Cobre on Wednesday. These two teams met earlier in Dexter’s third game of the season and Cobre’s 10 games.

Dexter was leading the game 4-1 through four innings before Cobre caught up with them and won, 15-6. Dexter played without pitcher Aryana Munoz due to her injuries during a volleyball game against Portales this season. She missed all of the volleyball season and has been in rehabilitation for six months. She has missed all but the last three games of this softball season.

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“My sister, Bryana Munoz,” Aryana Munoz said, “she showed me how to be a leader. I tried to jam the hitters on their hands with my fastball. We have to keep working.”

Munoz pitched well against St. Michael’s. She was able to get out of jams and none bigger than when Alycia Alvarez hit a triple to right field in the fifth inning with one out, Reyna Leyla came up and hit a smash line drive right back at Munoz as she caught the ball and quickly threw the ball to third base to double off Alvarez for a double play to get out of the inning. Munoz would strikeout 12 hitters and allowed one run as she pitched a complete game.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Carlos hit a pop up to the second baseman, who dropped the ball. Cobos hit the ball to shortstop and beat it out without a throw. Both runners were safe. On the next pitch, St. Michael’s pitcher threw a wild pitch advancing the runners up a base.

Kelsey Storie hit a sacrifice fly to left field as both runners tagged, scoring Carlos to give Dexter a 3-1 lead. Munoz helped herself at the plate as she hit a hot line drive to the shortstop who could not handle it driving in another run to give the Lady Demons a 4-1 lead. Danique Blankvoort walked and Chelsea Torres hit a double to drive in two runs to give Dexter a 6-1 lead and the game.

“I’m super proud of my team,” Duran said. “Hats off to St. Michael’s — they played a super game. We came out with sticks and we had a big fifth inning. These girls are just focused at all times. My team’s work ethic is 100% and they’re just focused at all times and I believe Cobre will see a different team this time.”

This season is a mix of speed at the bottom of the lineup, in Anayee Carlos and Nayeli Cobos who are on the state winning track team. The power is supplied by Danique Blankvoort who hit a home run over the right-field fence. Kelsey Storie and Chelsea Torres hit doubles to score runs for the Lady Demons.

“It was a fastball inside,” Blankvoort said. “We have always had a lot of seniors that have helped lead us here. It really is like a comeback experience, I think it is going to be an experience for this team this year since we are all new. It’s so exciting, we’re so excited because we weren’t expected to make it this far and we’ve been coming back better.”

This year’s team is young, they start one senior, Yajaira Sosa, a junior, Anayee Carlos, with the rest being a mix of eighth-graders, freshmen and sophomores. It has taken the first-year coach Sonny Duran to get the team to come around.

“We knew we were going to start off a little rocky,” Duran said. “We’re freshmen, sophomore loaded. We start three freshmen. Four sophomores and one junior and senior starting. I’m happy to be in the quarterfinals and we have to keep working hard.”

The one thing that Dexter has working for them is from freshmen on up, they have been a part of a championship team, as Dexter has won four in a row. These Lady Demons are interested in continuing to withhold the tradition started by the teams ahead of them.

Dexter will play Cobre at 12:30 p.m. at Cleveland High School on Field 4.

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