Action tipped off yesterday, Thursday, in White Mountain League softball action.
The Rim Country Middle School Maverick eighth-grade team traveled to Snowflake for the season opener. The seventh grade Lady Mavs hosted the Lobos on Lady Longhorn diamond. (Results not available at press time).
Curtis Johnson, the Payson High School varsity coach, is coaching the eighth grade team and Marisa Sadillo is guiding the seventh graders.
"The girls have been practicing since Aug. 7 and are ready for game action," Johnson said. "Our focus as coaches is on fundamentals and teaching the game of fast pitch."
Because town league youth play is slow pitch, the RCMS seventh-graders are participating in fast pitch for the first time.
"That places RCMS girls at a huge disadvantage since most other towns have recreational fast pitch programs in place for the younger ages," Johnson said.
In addition to competing in White Mountain League softball, 15 RCMS players -- 13 eighth graders and two from the seventh grade -- will be playing in the inaugural Scottsdale Miss Softball League.
"These young ladies will travel to Scottsdale every Monday beginning Sept. 11 to play doubleheader games against (Valley-area) teams," Johnson said. "We're anticipating these extra games will help the Payson players improve further."