In last week's win against Joseph City, the Rim Country Middle School's seventh-grade Maverick's softball team gave a lesson to their opponents in humility, trouncing the JC Wildcat's 25-1, and doing it in just three innings.
"We hit the ball when there was an occasional strike, but there were lots of walks." Coach Gary Ritter said. "In fact, Joe City only managed to strike out a Maverick twice during the entire game."
Ritter said his focus on sportsmanship was evident.
"We quit stealing in the first inning because we were just running away with it," Ritter said.
The Mavs sent runners across home plate five times in the first inning alone, followed by 10 runs in the 2nd, and another 10 runs in the third.
Joe City's lone run had been walked on base, followed by successful steals to second and third and a run home on a passed ball.
Pitching played a significant role for both teams. While Joe City struggled to find the strike-zone, Payson pitchers only allowed two hits throughout the game.
At the plate, hitters for Payson struggled with finding anything to hit. Danielle O'Haver had two hits, while Amber Mecham and Hillary Armenta each had one. With the exception of two Payson batters who were struck by pitches, the remaining runs scored as a result of walks.
He said he's excited about the athletic ability his team has been showing and points to a newcomer who is bringing a fresh spark to the team.
"Hillary Armenta is a new player and one of the stronger ones," he said. "She's a good hitter, an excellent fielder, and has become a real leader who makes good decisions on the field."
The Mavs faced Blue Ridge in an away game yesterday (Sept. 7).
"It's hard to know what you're going up against with the seventh-grade teams, because you never have the chance to see the teams before that age."