Prep softball wins over the tradition-rich Snowflake Lobos are as rare as an accurate financial statement from Fife Symington.
But just such a gem turned into a hardcore reality Friday afternoon in Lobo land when PHS senior Sidney Swartwood pitched the Lady Horns to a stirring 3-2 East region victory.
The triumph lifts the Lady Horns East credentials to 4-0 and has them atop the regional standings.
Although it's still early in the year, if the Rim country diamond ladies continue to play with the mettle they've shown in the first four games, the team will be at the finish line when the region championship is decided in early May.
The secret to the team's success, coach Will Dunman said, are the intangibles.
"They do the little things -- bunt, run the bases and defend --which it takes to win," Dunman said.
Against Snowflake, there were plenty of heady plays, but also a bundle of heroics supplied by Brittany Boyes and Swartwood.
With the score dead-knotted 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Boyes swatted a triple to right center that scored Jamie Peace from first with the winning run.
But all that would have gone for naught had not Swartwood totally stifled the once-fabled Lobo hitting attack, allowing just one run and two hits over the course of the final six innings.
No one was more in awe of Swartwood than senior teammate Alison Crabtree. "She was unbelievable."
Swartwood was pitching in relief of starter LeeAnn Owens who was brought up from the jayvee team in a Dr. Strangelove move to hurl against the Lobos.
Dunman said he opted to start Owens because scouting reports revealed Snowflake had shown the inability to hit slower pitching in an earlier game against Alchesay.
While the Lady Horns were riding the relief pitching of Swartwood and a stellar defense that committed only one error, the bat of Boyes produced all the offense the team needed. The youngster finished the game with a single, triple and two RBIs.
Dunman also cited the hitting of Sage Walden and Jamie Peace who both cranked out doubles.
The Lady Horns will now take a week-long break from the rigors of East play to participate in a pair of nonregion games.
Tomorrow, March 29, the team travels to Mesa Skyline for a 6 p.m. encounter. March 31, Sedona visits Payson High for a 3:30 p.m. contest.