Little League All Stars Comes To An Early End

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The agony of defeat permeated the Payson High third base dugout Tuesday afternoon, as the Payson/Pine Little League All Stars saw their post-season hopes evaporate in a 9-6 loss to Flagstaff Coconino.

With the defeat, Payson was eliminated from season-ending play and their hopes of earning a berth in the district tournament were quashed.

"It kind of sucks," Payson All-Star coach Anthony Piazza said.

"No comment," was all Little League president Stephanie Dvorak could muster.

The tournament, played on the Payson High School softball diamond beginning Monday, drew eight teams from Little League's Area One.

The two surviving teams, which will be decided today, earn the right to advance to the district finals July 17 to 20, also on the PHS softball diamond.

District winners are seeded into the state tournament.

Payson's loser bracket loss to Coconino was preceded one day earlier by a 12-8 loss to Winslow. In that upset, Payson's ace pitcher, Larry Everetts, started on the mound and lasted 3 1/2 innings before being relieved by Devin Dvorak and Matt Behrens.

In the loss to Coconino, big Luke Runzo got the start on the hill and lasted an inning before getting help from Behrens.

Although the campaign's at an end, Piazza who coached the Cubs to a 14-0 record in the regular season predicts there could be more diamond play on the horizon.

"We'd like to get a winter league started," he said.

If that doesn't materialize, Stephanie Dvorak said, "there's always next year."

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