Softball All-Stars Finish 2-2

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The Payson Softball All-Stars looked like they were going to tear up the field against Blue Ridge when they closed the first inning with a 7-0 score.

The 11- and 12-year-old girls were unable to maintain that momentum though and ended their state tourney run with a 25-15 defeat.

"We came out of the tournament 2 and 2," said coach Chris Perkes.

"This is the first year and the girls did a lot better than was expected. We finished fourth in the tournament out of nine," he said.

Perkes had Emma Randall pitch against Blue Ridge and said his top hitters were Jade Holland, Megan Wessell and Kelsey Bossert.

"The whole team came a long way," Perkes said.

The girls worked hard too, putting in two practices every day for the past three weeks.

"They are going to be a good group going into eighth grade," he said.

Perkes added he wanted to thank the area businesses that contributed to the team's efforts: Jeff Vaughn Homes bought the uniforms; Safeway provided refreshments; and Payson Concrete & Materials gave financial support.

Payson Little League's first attempt at girls fast pitch softball postseason play turned successful July 8 when the Rim Country 11-12-year-old all-stars run-ruled Holbrook's celestial squad 21-5.

Action took place in the Area 1 tournament in Taylor. The day prior to the win over Holbrook, the Payson stars suffered the agony of defeat, falling 6-1 to a talented Taylor team.

"They might be the best team in the tournament, but we played them well," Perkes said.

In the loss, Emma Randall pitched for Payson.

In the win over Holbrook, a game that was shortened to four innings, Devann Runzo started and was credited with the win.

Offensively, the coach cited Megan Wessel, Kaitlyn Wessel, Karessa Armstrong and Riley Perkes for their hitting.

"We just crushed the ball," he said.

With the loss to Taylor and a win over Holbrook behind the team, Payson advanced to a July 9 elimination showdown against Snowflake.

Once again the Rim offense was hitting on all cylinders as Payson rolled to a 28-2 victory.

Emma Randall started on the hill and hurled one inning before being replaced by Megan Wessel.

Payson's appearance in the Little League tournament was a first because the program had not fielded a fast pitch softball league until this year.

Little League president Slade Gibson lauded the coaches and players for the dedication to getting the program running smooth in the Rim Country.

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