Skip to Content

Duke soars in as softball Region Player of the Year for Gila Ridge, Cibola rakes in most 1st Team honors

Addison Duke takes POY as Raiders nab three other top honors in 6A Desert Southwest Region

YUMA, Ariz., (KYMA, KECY) - With just a three-team region, there is no hiding the stars on the diamond that come out in plain sight - and with that comes some great recognition once the season comes to a close.

When it was all said in done in 2023, Cibola Raiders softball was once again the top dog in the Desert Southwest as they swept region play and reached the state playoffs for the eighth straight time. Inevitably, the Raiders showed out with some of the top honors and reeled in the most 1st Team votes.

But not far behind were the Gila Ridge Hawks, flapping their wings in their first season in 6A ball and reaching the state play-in round. They too put out a good chunk of All-Region talent - with one Hawk soaring above the rest and taking the top overall honor as Region Player of the Year.


Desert Southwest Region Coach of the Year

Shelly Baumann - Cibola

Baumann continues to make her presence felt as one of the best coaches in Arizona, leading a program that consistently has a shot at competing for a state title. The Raiders won 17 games and swept region play (6-0) to reach the state tournament once again. She also flaunts being the coach of two out of the three top honors in the entire region once again.

Desert Southwest Region Offensive Player of the Year

Miranda Salcido - Cibola

In her senior campaign, Salcido hit for .453 in the box - leading the team with 39 hits and 25 RBIs, hitting seven home runs to top it off.

Desert Southwest Region Defensive Player of the Year

Illianna Cordova - Cibola

While hitting .338 with 24 hits and 20 runs scored on the offensive side, Cordova was more impressive defensively as the anchor in center field. At the end of it all, Cordova managed to finish the season with no errors and a perfect fielding percentage - with a few highlight reel catches to top it off.

Desert Southwest Region Player of the Year

Addison Duke - Gila Ridge

Duke lit up the Desert Southwest with her versatility on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball on the diamond for the Hawks. Not only was she the anchor in center field with a perfect fielding percentage in 59 total chances, but her production at the plate and on the base path was irreplaceable.

Addy led her team in on-base percentage (.583) and slugging percentage (.805) alongside her stellar batting average (.478) that put her on base - and when she got on base it was lethal. The junior stole 24 bags in almost as many games and came around to score 31 times.

Since taking the field for the Hawks varsity squad as a freshman, Duke has grown from a slapper to a powerful force in the box - something she has worked on every single day to reach the level of play she is at now.

"I've always been a good fielder but I always wanted to be better at hitting. So I go in every year saying I need to be a better hitter whether it be my pitch selection or my mechanics, it's always something I work on," said Duke. "I think it's good for the program (to win POY) to show that we know how to develop players and we have a lot to offer. For me, it's just something I have worked really hard for and I'm glad that it is paying off."

And her accomplishments overwhelmingly strike a heart string for her own head coach, Courtney Reed, who has been with her as a coach since Duke was in 7th grade.

"Addy is a leader and she leads by example," said Reed. "The amount of work this kid puts in is incredible. She works hard, not only as an athlete in three different sports but in general in academics, and as a person. She's just all around the person you want on your side. She's a great kid that goes beyond measures."

Duke hits the road this summer in travel ball - but luckily enough for the Hawks, they will get her back for one more year in 2024 as a senior. After that, Duke has already committed to play at the Division I level at Ole Miss.

6A Desert Southwest All-Region 1st Team

Stephanie Cortazar - Cibola (Pitcher)

  • 105.1 IP, 3.19 ERA, 102 K's

Violet Silva - Gila Ridge (Pitcher)

  • 85.1 IP, 5.91 ERA, 47 K's

Daysy Juarez - San Luis (Pitcher)

  • 36.1 IP, 5.97 ERA, 62 K's

Alana Mcdonnell - Cibola (Catcher)

  • .390, 32 hits, 21 RBI

Klarissa Rader - Gila Ridge (Position Player)

  • .455, 30 hits, 15 RBIs, 8 stolen bases

Misha Mathews - Cibola (Position Player)

  • .382, 29 hits, 25 RBIs, 3 HR

Isabella Beltran - Gila Ridge (Position Player)

  • .316, 25 hits, 18 RBIs

Kenzie Nakasawa - Cibola (Position Player)

  • .455, 25 hits, 19 RBIs, 8 HR

Kara Espino - Gila Ridge (Position Player)

  • .506, 40 hits, 12 RBIs

Ivannya Perez - San Luis (Position Player)

  • .413, 19 hits, 15 stolen bases

Destiny Martinez - Cibola (Position Player)

  • .284, 19 hits, 12 RBIs

Aliana Padilla - Cibola (Position Player)

  • .400, 20 hits, 8 stolen bases

Raegan Rosas - Gila Ridge (Position Player)

  • .359, 23 hits, 14 RBIs

6A Desert Southwest All-Region 2nd Team

Maleia Padilla - Cibola (Pitcher)

Almayde Gil Zarate - San Luis (Pitcher)

Alyna Angulo - San Luis (Pitcher)

Lillyana Price - Gila Ridge (Catcher)

Isabella Ruiz - San Luis (Position Player)

Alyssa Campa - Gila Ridge (Position Player)

Cameron Kasid - Cibola (Position Player)

Tayler Reishman - Gila Ridge (Position Player)

Aimee Cisneros - Gila Ridge (Position Player)

Laisha Ibarra - Cibola (Position Player)

Miah Vanegas - San Luis (Position Player)

Sophia Vanegas - San Luis (Position Player)

Leyla Sanchez - Cibola (Position Player)

Article Topic Follows: High School Sports

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Cole Johnson

Cole Johnson is News 11’s Sports Director.

Contact Cole at


KYMA KECY is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content