Sports & Recreation

The Salt River Fat Dawg’s Ballers led the parade onto Chase field and were the first team to hear cheers from fans recognizing their hard work.

D-backs Inter-Tribal Invite Wraps Up

By Jennifer Hernandez
Au-Authm Action News

Lil’ Indians Give Up One Run in Pool-Play Games
The Salt River Lil’ Indians shut out their first two opponents in pool play, including the St. Michaels D-backs 18-0 and Shiprock Native Pride 10-0. The Parker Little Braves were the only team to score on the boys during pool play, but fell 11-1 to Salt River.

The Lil’ Indians started out the game scoring three runs. Daniel Gameros started the game with a single to right field. Aaron Makil hit an RBI single to bring in the first run of the game. Kaya Hayes singled to right field on a line drive and Brent Sames walked. But while he was at bat, a run scored for the Lil’ Indians on a passed ball. Erik Makil also reached first on a throwing error by the Little Braves. Elias de la Cruz hit an RBI to bring the third run across the plate.

The Braves went down after just three batters and the Lil’ Indians were back at it again, scoring one run on an RBI double by Sames and an RBI single by Cyrus Crabtree to increase their lead 5-0. The Braves tried again to put something together, but they were shut out in the bottom of the second inning.

In the third, the Lil’ Indians added six more runs to seal the victory. Gameros walked in the third, with a single by Makil, RBI double by Hayes and triple by Sames. The Lil’ Indians faced only 12 batters in the game.

Salt River Fatdawg’s Ballers fall to Tule River Yokuts Nation
Despite falling behind 4-0 in the second inning, the Salt River Fatdawg’s Ballers from the Single-A division of the D-Backs Inter-Tribal Youth Baseball Invitational did not give up. The game was held at Luis Gonzalez Arizona Diamondbacks Field of Dreams at Tempe Beach Park.

The Ballers were defeated in their first game of pool play, losing 6-5 in a close game. But in their second game they were defeated 12-0 by Four Corners from New Mexico. After the bottom of the second inning, Four Corners led 4-0. New Mexico added five runs in the top of the third inning and scored four additional runs in the next inning. The Ballers struggled at the plate, finding their way on base after being hit by a pitch and earning three walks.

Early Rally Pushes Shiprock Rockies past Salt River Woodstock
New Mexico’s Shiprock Rockies started the game with big hits, including three singles and one double, to take a 4-0 lead. Salt River scored one run in their first at-bat on an RBI double. The Rockies added five more runs in the second inning and five more in the next.

Woodstock put together a small rally in the bottom of the third inning on a single hit hard to second. An additional error in the field put another Salt River player on base. The third batter of the inning hit an RBI double to score two runs, trailing the Rockies 13-3. One additional run crossed home plate, but it was not enough as Woodstock fell 14-4 to the Shiprock Rockies.

Department, Salt River High School and Robert Johnston’s Warrior/Pride teams.


Native Thunder Softball Finish Second

Girl’s softball team Native Thunder finished 5-0 in the Triple-A division of pool play in the Arizona Diamondbacks and Native American Baseball and Softball Invitational. Native Thunder won their first game after a forfeit on July 25, won their second game against Tule River 14-0, and were also victorious in their next two games, against Firestix 4-2 and the Walatowa Diamonds 16-0.

Native Thunder advanced to the championship bracket and took on the Oklahoma Inter-Tribal All-Stars on July 27, winning 1-0. The All-Stars were the first up to the plate and were able to get on base, but pitcher Bernice Gover was able to hold the runner to get out of the inning. Native Thunder was unable to get any runners on base and kept the All-Stars from doing so as well in the top of the second inning. Celia Hicks singled to left field for Thunder in the bottom of the second inning. For the next three innings, both teams’ pitchers were keeping runners off the base path, until the bottom of the fifth, when Hicks doubled to center field but was left stranded on third base.

The single run that crossed the plate for either team came in the bottom of the sixth inning, by Native Thunder. Gover hit a triple into center field with one out. She made the eventual score that put the Thunder ahead 1-0, advancing to the championship game.

In the championship game against the Gallup Dynamite, Thunder came out with their bats swinging, earning three hits and one walk. Two runs scored on a single hit by Hicks, who got to third base on a throw attempt to get the runners at home plate. She scored on the next play on a throwing error, to give the Thunder a 3-0 lead.

In the bottom of the first inning, Dynamite put a runner on base, but catcher Erin Manuel caught the runner attempting to steal second, for the first out. The next two batters grounded out to shortstop.

The Dynamite added two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on four singles and trailed 3-2. Native Thunder was taken down in three batters at the plate.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Gallup started to get their bats going once again and hit two straight singles. A sacrifice bunt and a single by the next two batters scored two runs for Dynamite. Another single to shallow right field scored an additional run.

With two outs and a full count on the Gallup batter, she ripped an RBI up the middle of the infield to score the final run of the inning and take the lead 6-3. Thunder brought three more batters to the plate, but they were taken down on strikes. They had one final at-bat in the top of the seventh inning, but only one runner reached base on a walk earlier in the inning.

Native Thunder Head Coach Wayne Hill said for only playing together for seven days, two of which were spent on team-building exercises, his team performed very well.

“We faced some good teams out here from Oklahoma and New Mexico, and even the girls agreed they had not seen that many great pitchers in a long time,” he said.

Hill said the team started the game off well, but once the Gallup team started to hit the Thunder’s pitching, it was difficult to stop them.

“All you can do is hope their consistency will run out,” he said. “We had it to start, but they seemed to start hitting us at the perfect time.”

D-backs Inter-Tribal Tournament Results

11-1 Loss Onk-Akimel O’odhams vs. Sells Giants
11-3 Loss Onk-Akimel O’odhams vs. Shiprock Angels
9-8 Loss Onk-Akimel O’odhams vs. Pinon Blue Jays
6-5 Loss Salt River FatDawg’s Ballers vs. Chinle Bad Boys
12 Loss Salt River FatDawg’s Ballers vs. Four Corners
14-5 Loss Salt River FatDawg’s Ballers vs. Tule River Yokuts Nation
18-0 Win Salt River Lil’ Indians vs. St. Michaels D-backs
10-0 Win Salt River Lil’ Indians vs. Shiprock Native Pride
11-1Win Salt River Li’l Indians vs. Parker Little Braves

Loss 10-0 Salt River Sandlot vs. Fort Defiance Mariners
Loss 15-2 Salt River Sandlot vs. Naa’Taanii
Loss 11-1 Salt River Sandlot vs. Stotonic Rebels
10-0 Loss Salt River Woodstock vs. Northern Heat
14-4 Win Salt River Woodstock vs. Shiprock Rockies
3-2 Loss Salt River Woodstock vs. Pascua Yaqui Yellow Hawks

For full results of the D-backs Inter-Tribal Baseball/Softball Invitational,


Inter-Tribal Youth Baseball and Softball Tournaments
D-backs Inter-Tribal Invite Wraps Up
Salt River Fields Design Unveiled
Native American Recognition Day Kicks Off the NABI Invitational