Lady Longhorn Softball Playoff Berth Still Undetermined

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The race for the East region's state softball playoff berths is going down to the wire.

The seeds won't be determined until the results of today's (April 25) final regular season games are in.

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Second baseman Hannah Palandri (above) makes a defensive play against Alchesay in the Lady Horns' April 22 win over the visiting Falcons. Lady Horn Candice Johnson (right) stands at the plate waiting for a pitch from an Alchesay Falcon hurler.

Even then, the battle for third- and fourth-place state berths might have to be decided by power points.

With the Lady Longhorns' 28-1 win over hapless Alchesay -- April 22 on PHS diamond -- Payson improves to 5-4 (15-13 overall) in the East and moves into a tie for third with Blue Ridge. The Yellow Jackets are struggling through a three-game region losing streak after falling 5-2 earlier this week to Snowflake.

If the Jackets and Lady Horns remain tied for third at the conclusion of today's games, BR would probably receive the region's third seed because the Lakeside school has more power points than does Payson.

With 97.86 points, Blue Ridge is ranked ninth in the 3A conference. Payson is sitting 13th with 91.27 points.

Snowflake (22-9 and 7-2) is the odds on favorite to win the East title and advance to state as a No. 1 seed.

Show Low (10-5-1 and 6-1) could be the two-seed.

With BR and Payson battling for the final two berths, Round Valley (7-11 and 1-5) and Alchesay (2-13 and 0-7) will be watching the state tournament from the bleachers.

Once the final state seedings are determined, the postseason will open May 2 in Phoenix.

Payson's final home game is at 4 p.m. today, April 25, in Snowflake.

In the Lady Horns' most recent outing, the 27-run thumping of Alchesay, the Lady Horns used about every combination possible to hold down the score including asking Aubrey Laird and Hannah Palandri to pitch for one of the few times in their careers.

Coach Will Dunman also sent freshman Kelsey Waugh to the hill.

Because Alchesay had only eight players and another was forced to leave for a family medical emergency, the game was called off after four innings.

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