The Lady Longhorns have two softball teams that remain in their way as they try to reach their goal of becoming East region champs. They will travel to Blue Ridge Tuesday, April 23, and Show Low Friday, April 26.
Payson beat Blue Ridge, 6-0, in their first outing April 5. The girls lost a squeaker to Show Low, 4-3, April 9 and are currently tied with SL for first place as the Cougars suffered a loss to Snowflake.
Payson beat Round Valley 10-7 Tuesday, April 16 in Springerville in a seesaw game played under less than desirable conditions. Cold weather and high winds made for miserable play.
Sophomore Doni Miotto proved to be a spark plug for the team, batting in the No. 9 position. Miotto has seen limited playing time due to a lineup full of seniors. However, she reached base on a single, double and a throwing error by RV's shortstop. She also proved her prowess in the outfield when RV had a would-be base hit to right field that Miotto scooped up and gunned to first base for an out.
Miotto, who is also a speedster on the bases, scored twice on hits by teammates Brandi Waugh and Rachel Ray.
LeeAnn Owens also had a good day at the plate with three base hits and two walks, scoring three times courtesy of hits by Waugh and Brooke McRae.
Payson was down by one run, 6-5, going in to the top of the seventh inning when their bats finally woke up for a combination of four hits and five runs. They were aided by RV's shortstop and third baseman who found four batted balls too hot to handle on the infield. Staci Scholl singled with one out, Miotto reached on an error, Owens singled, Ray reached on an error, McRae singled, Britney Boyes singled, Trista Carlton reached on an error, as did Brenna Zumbro.
Round Valley tried a come back in the bottom of the seventh with three singles that scored one run, however, Payson's defense was too strong.
Rachel Ray pitched six innings, however, was relieved by Zumbro who got the win with solid pitching and run support from her offense.
Payson is in Page this weekend, April 19 and 20, for a four-game guarantee tournament that will pit them against teams from Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.