In 55-years-and-over senior league softball play at Prospector Park in Apache Junction, the Payson Panthers (8-4) managed to hang onto first place, despite splitting a doubleheader with the Mesa seniors.
According to Panthers coach Ron Maksymowski, the Payson team copped the 15-8 opening victory primarily behind a 27-hit attack.
In the second game, the Panthers bats fell strangely silent during a 10-8 loss. Payson scored five runs in the first inning and appeared to be well on the way to another victory before the offense sputtered.
"We had only five hits in the final six innings," Maksymowski said.
Fran Doering was the offensive leader in the twin bill, pounding out six hits which included a home run and a triple. Corb Corbin, Frank Adams and Tom Neblett finishing with five hits, Maksymowski said. Neblett was the pitcher of record in both games.
In other senior play, the Prospectors --a team made up of Payson and Prescott athletes 65-years-and over competing in a Fountain Hills league -- dropped a double header, 12-11 and 12-10 to the Mesa Wrangles.
According to Maksymowski, the Payson-Prescott crew fought hard in both games, but were unable to salvage a victory against the potent Mesa team that last season claimed a seniors world championship. Dick Johnson hurled both games. Vern Stephens contributed five hits to the Prospector cause. Walt Knasic had two home runs, one of which was a grand slam.