While the seventh- and eighth-grade Middle School Maverick football teams are gaining reputations for their butt-kicking abilities, the seventh-grade girls' softball team is also becoming known for one opponents would rather not face.
The Payson girls are currently 4-1 in league play and 7-1 overall coming off four big wins on the road this past week.
Payson played last Thursday in Show Low where Coach Gary Ritter characterized the game as another "walk in the park."
"They had some pitching problems but we did have some really good hits," Ritter said.
Payson lead-off hitter Molly Agnes did an outstanding job at bat going 3 for 3 on the day.
At the end of the first inning of play, the handwriting was already on the wall with a score of 13-0 Payson. The second inning saw Payson score only once leaving three stranded on base. In the third inning, Payson would cross the plate three more times, advancing the final score to 17-0.
Standouts include Danielle O'Haver who scored two runs on a single and Hillary Armenta who also knocked in a run on a double. Tracy Fitspatrick also hit a single and then came around to score. The remainder of Payson's runs came as a result of walks, passed pitches and aggressive steals.
Defensively, Payson never really had a challenge, with the one lone Show Low hit being a short blooper between center and right field.
Saturday, the Mavs were back in Show Low again for a tournament which they also handled quite easily.
Their first game was against Joseph City which they beat 15-1 in an inning and a half. The second game was with Winslow which provided a bit more of a challenge for the girls.
"They hit the ball pretty well," Ritter said. Winslow scored five times in the first inning but Payson came back with several hits of their own. The final score against Winslow was 13-8. The third game was with Heber, which the Mavs routed quickly by a score of 28-6.
Amber Mecham batted 1,000 in the tourney with three singles, three home runs including one grand slam, and a triple. All together she had nine RBIs.
Jayden Walden also came through with several beautiful left-handed bunts to load the bases, paving the way for at least one grand-slam home run.
The girls play Round Valley Wednesday at home and according to Ritter should provide a challenge for the team. Game time is 3:30 p.m. and will feature starting pitcher Danielle O'Haver on the mound.