While the Lady Longhorns were cruising through a 10-0 laugher Wednesday afternoon on the PHS softball diamond, their baseball counterparts on the upper Payson High field were struggling to salvage a 13-12 come-from-behind victory.
The wins over visiting Pinnacle boosted the two teams' hopes to earn a top-four East region finish and a berth in the season-ending state tournament.
With their triumph, the Lady Horns now stand 5-2 in the East region and are in the hunt for an East crown.
The baseball squad sports a 3-2-1 mark in a hotly contested pennant race in which every team has at least one loss. The baseball team's rare tie, a 6-6 dead knot against Round Valley, occurred Tuesday evening in Eagar.
The game was called off at the end of six innings due to darkness and windy, cold conditions. According to coach Teddy Pettet, the game will be continued at a later date if the outcome has a direct bearing on the season-ending standings.
If not, he said, the game will go down in the record books as a tie.
Senior Tyler Pettet hurled the entire six innings but, because of the tie, was denied the pitching win.
Scotty Garduno and Steve Williamson went two-for-four at the plate.
In the baseball team's win over Pinnacle a newly built Phoenix-area school in its first year of competition Tyler Pettet picked up the pitching win after hurling the final inning. Junior Ky Bradley opened on the mound and lasted five innings before being relieved by Mark Hansen and later Pettet.
After taking a 4-0 first inning
lead on Mike Doss' grand slam home run, the Horns fell behind 11-8 in the sixth. In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Horns staged a spirited rally that erased the Pinnacle cushion.
Big plays in the rally were a bases-loaded walk and Tyler Pettet's sacrifice fly that scored the winning run.
Lady Horns cruise
In the Horn victory, Pinnacle simply had no answer for the speedy mound offerings of sophomore Rachel Ray, who improved her record to 7-5 by tossing a sterling no hitter.
On her way to the impressive victory, Ray struck out seven and walked three. While Ray was dominating on the mound, the Longhorn offense was being supplied by Brooke McRae, Brandi Waugh, Brittany Boyes and Nikki Scholl.
McRae contributed two booming triples and Scholl and Waugh had two singles. Boyes was one for three at the plate.
Following the game, coach Will Dunman lauded the play of Scholl, a freshman, who started at catcher.
The Horn defense also turned in a stellar job by not committing an error. However, part of that proficiency had to be attributed to Ray's pitching, who allowed few Pinnacle hitters to club the ball into fair play.
The Lady Horns don't return to play until April 3 against Show Low but the team will be conducting a fund-raising hit-a-thon tomorrow on PHS diamond. Proceeds from the annual event, in which the players solicit sponsors, will be used to fund improvements on the PHS diamond. The hit-a-thon will begin about 10:30 a.m.