Swirling, dusty winds on the high desert softball field in Sun Lakes rendered playing conditions almost intolerable for both the Payson Grays and the Devils senior softball teams.
Grays coach Ron Maksymowski said the Dec. 3 game "was the first time I've ever played when you couldn't see the outfield players."
Toiling through the adverse conditions, which included 25 mph winds that played tricks with fly balls and pitches, the Grays managed to split the double-header, winning the second game 23-16 after dropping the first 11-8.
The opening game, a loss for the Grays, "was a heart-breaker," Maksymowski said.
The coach attributed the defeat to shoddy play in the fourth and fifth innings "which belonged to the Devils because we committed several miscues that allowed them to score unearned runs."
Maksymowski was the losing pitcher in the first game and the winner in the second.
Tom Neblett picked up his first save of the season pitching the seventh inning of the victory.
Offense also played a prominent role in the Rim country senior's win, Maksymowski said.
Newcomer Bob Charame was a perfect six for six at the plate. Don McPeek, Ken Cheeseman and Walt Knasick had five hits each. Dave Crowell contributed a double and three singles. Vern Stearns swatted a home run and Corb Corbin a triple, he said.