The Lady Longhorns have the opportunity today, Friday, in Whiteriver to put an end to the miseries of a five-game losing streak.
Payson's opponent, the Alchesay Lady Falcons, is just the foe the team needs to get back on the winning track.
All season long, Alchesay (0-3 in the East) has struggled, losing by lop-sided margins to Snowflake (18-0), Blue Ridge (15-0), Ganado (10-0), San Carlos (19-4) and Window Rock (14-3).
Although the Falcons are struggling, the team has a standout player in pitcher Noel Hinton, who is also Alchesay's leading hitter.
In Whitervier, they are saying the team's troubles are tied to the players' inexperience and youth.
The Lady Horns (8-11 overall and 1-2 in the East) struggles began in the Gracie Haught Classic, after the team opened with a victory over Queen Creek.
PHS then lost to Snowflake, 4-3; Dobson, 9-0; Benson, 10-1; and Blue Ridge, 14-4.
The losing streak continued April 1 in Lakeside where the BR Jackets took a second win over Payson, this time by a 5-0 margin.
In the shutout loss, the Lady Horns pounded six hits, including one double, off BR hurler Liesl Hall, but couldn't push a run across the plate.
The Jackets scored once in the bottom of the second, two more in the fifth and sewed up the win with another pair of runs in the sixth.
Although the Lady Horns have a losing record in East play, they are by no means out of the title chase.
With a 3-0 record, Show Low is the region leader, but Payson proved they could play on even terms with the Cougars in the Lady Horns' narrow 10- 8 loss on March 14.
Also, Payson currently holds down 13th in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point rankings of the 28 Class 3A schools.
The rankings are used to seed teams in the state tournament.
There are, however, four East teams ranked ahead of the Lady Horns -- Show Low (3rd), Blue Ridge (5th), Snowflake (8th) and Round Valley (9th).
If the Lady Horns can right their listing victory ship against Alchesay, and upset Snowflake April 8 on PHS diamond, the players would find themselves back in the hunt for a post-season playoff berth.