Solid Hitting, Pitching Helps Payson All-Stars Win

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Solid hitting and commendable pitching from three hurlers lifted the Payson 9-10-year-old Little League all-star team to a 14-6 win over Flagstaff Mt. Elden.

Grayson Barr, who hit an inside-the-park home run, and Bryce Goodman supplied the slugging. Goodman swatted a deep fly ball that bounced at the warning track and over the Rumsey 3 fence for a ground-rule double.

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Reliever Bryce Goodman was the pitcher of record in the Payson Little League 9-10-year-old All-Star's 14-6 victory over Flagstaff Mt. Elden. Goodman also had a ground-rule double after his hit bounced over the outfield fence. Little League play continues this week.

On the mound, Austin Gibson got the starting nod from manager Denver White and lasted two-plus innings before giving way to Doran Kaufmann. Goodman mopped up pitching the final two-plus innings.

The victory was chalked up June 27 in the second round of the Area 1 postseason tournament that featured all-star teams representing Continental, Coconino, Flagstaff, Mt. Elden and Payson. Page was also to have entered but failed to show and forfeited a first-round game to Payson giving the locals a 2-0-tournament record.

Also 2-0 in the postseason is the Payson 12-year-old all-star team playing in Winslow.

Payson opened the fray June 27 with a 10-0 win over Continental. The following day, Payson pounded Coconino 14-1.

Against Continental, fireballer Miguel Mendoza hurled a no-hitter and Zach Wolfe blasted a home run.

The game was called off after 3 1/2 innings on the 10-run mercy rule.

"Right now, the kids are doing well," coach Craig McMullen said.

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Grayson Barr slides into home plate after swatting an inside-the-park home run in Payson's win over Mt. Elden.

In defeating Coconino, also on the 10-run rule, Payson was extended to five full innings.

Nick McMullen started on the hill and was credited with the win.

Blake Cannon relieved McMullen in the third inning. Chance Randall hit two home runs and Daily Karnes had one.

Payson's 10-11-year-old all-star team, playing in Flagstaff, opened June 27 with a loss to Mt. Elden, but rebounded the following day to beat Snowflake.

"We played much better the second time," manager Ken Schneider said.

Action in Little League Area 1 tournaments will continue this week.

The top two teams from the Area 1 frays will advance to district finals against the two best finishers from Area 2, or the White Mountain region.

The 9-10-year-old district finals will be in Snowflake and the top-two 10-11-year teams will meet at Mt Elden. The 11-12-year district showdown is in Winslow.

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Getting ready for tournament play are the 10-11-year-old girls fast pitch softball team. Pictured are (back row, left to right) Logan Conway, Sadie Dunman, Savannah Grassel, Chloee Connolly, Kayla Percell, Brittany Proctor, (front row, left to right) Ali Tenney, Cori Bernett, and Mishayla Rodgers. Not pictured are Keely Christensen, Ricci Gamboa and Jewel Johnson.

In Little League Girls Fast Pitch Softball, which Payson is fielding a team in for the first time ever, the Rim Country 9-10-year all-stars open play July 7 against Snowflake in Flagstaff. The 11-12-year team also opens July 7, but against Flagstaff in Taylor.

Payson's Little League junior all-star baseball team is in area tournament action in Page. The district finals will be staged in Lakeside.

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