With a doubleheader sweep of Valle de Oro by identical scores of 17-9, the Payson Panthers senior softball team posted a 10-4 record and is awarded a bye into the championship game of the Apache Junction senior league, Payson coach and player Ron Maksymowski said.
The team will play for the league title March 7 in Apache Junction against the Amigos who sport 9-5 credentials.
"We have only to win one game for the 55 (years-old) open league title," Maksymowski said.
In copping last week's twin bill from Valley del Oro, the Panthers relied on an offensive attack fueled by six hits each from Fran Doering and Dave Crowell.
Among Doering's hits were two home runs.
Corb Corbin and Frank Adams both pounded out five hits apiece.
Defensively, Maksymowski lauded the stellar play of Earl Davis, Walt Knasick, Ken Cheeseman and Bob Clorame.
Tom Neblett was the winning pitcher in both games.
In other senior play involving the Prospectors -- a team comprised of 60-year-old players from both Payson and Prescott -- the squad spilt a twin bill with the Phoenix Cougars.
In the opener the Cougars clawed out an 18-6 victory, but in the second matchup, the Prospectors came roaring back for an 11-6 win.
"Our bats didn't wake up until the second game," Maksymowski said.
Dick Johnson paced the Prescott-Payson team to the win with five hits, one of which was a double that ignited a four-run outburst in the third inning of the Prospector victory.
Johnson was also the pitcher of record in both games.