Errors spelled the demise of the Lady Longhorns in a state tournament final four 2-1 loss to the Florence Gophers.
The victors scored unearned runs in the first and fifth inning on throwing errors.
Payson's lone run came on a home run by Sarah Cadd, her second of the state tournament.
Sophomore hurler Candice Johnson was saddled with the loss despite probably turning in the best performance of her young career. In going the distance on the hill, she scattered four hits and struck out six.
Most of the evening, Johnson received strong support from the defense.
"Other than the throwing errors, the defense was solid," coach Curtis Johnson said. "No runner reached third base other than for the (two) errors."
Following the loss, the coach cited the players for a commendable season in which they played to a third place East region finish and a berth in the state semifinals.
"The ladies played another great game, and I am extremely proud," he said.
"We do have some young talent for next year and I believe we can look forward to another great season."
The team will lose five seniors set to graduate with the class of 2006. They include Ashley Anesin, Hillary Armenta, Molly Agnes, Kaycee Pugel and Jadyn Walden.
"We are sorry to be losing our seniors," he said. "They all played vital roles in the team's success this year."
The team gathered one final time May 15 for its traditional season ending awards banquet. During it, coach Johnson announced the Lady Horn players who were chosen to the All-East region team. (See Friday, May 19 edition of the Payson Roundup for honorees).