Lady Horns Beat Snowflake, Lose To Estrella

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The weekend was filled with ups and downs, one narrow win and two close losses for the Longhorn softball team.

The Lady Horns edged Snowflake, 3-2, in their home opener on Friday. The Horns were less than powerful at the plate and scored all three runs in the third inning.

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Candice Johnson started on the mound for the Lady Longhorns. Johnson struck out five batters in four innings in the Payson's home opener against Snowflake last Friday.

"We struggled at the plate, which is uncharacteristic of how we have performed so far this season," coach Curtis Johnson said.

Hannah Armenta earned a walk in the third and scored off a double, smacked by Sarah Cadd. Tamara Crabdree followed with a rip that Snowflake committed two throwing errors trying to field. It allowed both Cadd and Crabdree to score.

Pitcher Candice Johnson started the game for the Horns and struck out five Lobos in four innings.

Tiffany Klemstine relieved Johnson for the final three innings and was too much for the Lobos to handle.

Klemstine struck out eight of the final nine batters she faced.

"She totally dominated the Snowflake batters," Johnson said. "We awarded (her) the game-ball due to her outstanding performance on the mound."

Saturday's double-header against third-ranked Estrella Foothills didn't have as favorable an outcome for the Longhorns.

The Longhorns blew a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the seventh, allowing the Wolves to score two runs and weasel out the victory.

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Power-pitching senior Tiffany Klemstine relieved Candice Johnson for the final three innings and fanned out eight more batters to edge the Snowflake Lobos for a 3-2 win.

The Longhorns also lost the second game by a score of 4-2.

"In both games, Payson out-hit Estrella but several errors and a lack of timely hits kept Payson from the wins," Johnson said.

The performances of new players Annie Klemstine and Skye McNeeley were very encouraging, Johnson said.

"Once the new players to this year's varsity team begin producing at a consistent level, Payson will become one of the teams to beat in the 3A East region," he said.

The JV and varsity Lady Horns will travel today, Tuesday, to face Holbrook. Games begin at 3:30 p.m.

The Alchesay Falcons will be next up Wednesday, in a home game for the Horns, beginning at 3:30 p.m.

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