The best of 2017 - Tucson News Now

The best of 2017

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Part 2 of our 2017 The Year in Sports here in Southern Arizona captures some of the great moments from the mid-to-late parts of the year in baseball, football, soccer, football, hockey and volleyball.

The Tucson Roadrunners debuted as the city was introduced to big-time minor league hockey.

UA Baseball went to the NCAA Tournament again thanks to several walk-off wins during Pac-12 Conference play.

On the ladies side, Arizona Tennis' Lauren Marker became the first Wildcat woman in 19 years to surpass 100 career wins, Women's Golf hosted the Pac-12 Championships and 400-meter hurdler Sage Watson brought home an NCAA Championship.

FC Tucson won another division title in the summer PDL.

Sahuaro High School's Alex Verdugo made his Major League Baseball debut in September and got his first big league hit while the Diamondbacks went from 93 losses to 93 wins and took the National League Wildcard.

On the prep diamond Nogales won their first state baseball title since 1981.

Salpointe Catholic took a second straight state girls' volleyball championship while longtime Sahuaro boys coach Sandy Novak called it a career.

Rio Rico trackster Allie Schadler capped her prep career by winning three more state titles to finish with 14 overall.

There were tremendously athletic plays on the high school gridiron and UA bounced back from a three-win 2016 season to reach a bowl game thanks to the play of dynamic quarterback Khalil Tate and a young energetic defense led by true freshman linebacker Colin Schooler.

Canadian-winter resident Barb Parker carded not one but two holes-in-one in the same round at The Gallery Golf Club.

Part 1 of our 2017 The Year in Sports captures some of the great moments from the early part of the year in basketball, soccer as well as softball.

The Wildcats hoops team got a jolt of energy in January when Allonzo Trier returned from an early-season NCAA suspension to join with freshman sharp-shooter Lauri Markkanen and senior leader Kadeem Allen to lead UA to Pac-12 regular season and tournament championships.

State titles were won in softball on the prep level by Cienega (5A), Canyon del Oro (4A) and Empire (3A) and in soccer by Salpointe Catholic (4A).

We saw a 2,000-point scorer in high school boys basketball and a dramatic buzzer beat that sent one prep squad to the state championship game.

Meanwhile UA won their first Pac-12 Softball title in ten years but their season came to a crashing holt when the Cats were upset in the Super Regionals by Baylor.

And capping 2017 was an unbelievable 3rd Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl that was won by New Mexico State in overtime, the Aggies first bowl game and win in 57 years.

Enjoy our look back at the year that was 2017.

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