Rain and wet fields made for tough playing conditions on the second day of the inaugural Gracie Haught Classic high school softball tournament.
The eight teams entered did, however, manage to play three games during the March 18 opening round robin.
"The coaches were happy with that," tournament director Charlene Hunt said. "The way the weather has been lately, it's been tough to get in any number of games."
For the day, the Lady Horns finished 2-1 whipping La Joya, 13-0 and Queen Creek, 5-4, but losing to Estrella Foothills, 4-1.
The thriller in the trio of diamond clashes was the one-run win over the Lady Bulldogs of Queen Creek.
Payson opened the nail-biter on a tear taking a 4-0 lead in the top of the first. The Dogs, however, refused to be caged. Scoring three runs in the bottom of the fourth and one in the fifth, Queen Creek was able to tie the game 4-4 at the end of the regulation five innings.
In the sixth, the international tie-breaking rule allowed freshman Hannah Armenta to begin the frame at second base. That proved the undoing of the Bulldogs. Armenta advanced to third on Krista LaHaye's slap-bunt single and scored the winning run on Sarah Agnes's fly ball to left field.
The Dogs had another at-bat and also awarded the tie-breaking runner at second, but after loading the bases failed to score.
Against La Joya, the Lady Horns scored nine runs in the first, four in the second and then coasted to the victory. Kaycee Pugle contributed two singles and Tanya Davis had a triple.
In the loss to Estrella, Katie Plumb tallied Payson's only run in the fourth after getting aboard on a fielder's choice and scoring on a sacrifice and an error.
Estrella was held scoreless in the first by Lady Horn pitcher Morgan O'Haver but rallied for one run in the second, two in the third and an insurance tally in the fourth.
The 2006 Gracie Haught Classic will be played March 17 and 18. Hunt said she would expand the field from eight to 12 teams if enough playing fields can be found.
"I had to turn five teams away this year," she said. "We'd like to have them if new fields at Rumsey (Park) are finished."
Hunt helped found the tournament last summer to honor the memory of 3-year-old Gracie Haught who was killed last year in an accident in Star Valley.
At the time, Gracie's mother, Bobbie Joe Haught, was the Lady Longhorns' junior varsity softball coach and the young girl was a frequent visitor to practice and games.
Gracie Haught Classic standings
The records of the teams participating:
- Blue Ridge, 2-0-1
- Higley, 0-3
- Basha, 2-1
- Benson 1-1-1
- Queen Creek 2-1
- La Joya 0-3
- Estrella Foothills, 2-1