The Lady Longhorn softball team travels to Eagar-Springerville today, Tuesday, with a two-fold purpose.
First, the Lady Horns will be out to put a screeching halt to a three-game losing streak and, second, the team needs to jump on the winning track in the East region title chase.
The Horns' losing streak began March 8 with an 11-1 loss to Peoria and continued with losses to Camp Verde, 9-8, and Show Low, 10-8.
The loss to Show Low, March 14 on the PHS diamond, was particularly damaging in that the game was the East season-opener and the Cougars are one of the teams expected to contend for the region title.
If the Lady Horns are to battle for East honors, they'll need to find a way to get past coach Carl Nix's Cougars.
The Lady Horns can reverse the recent losing trend today with a win over the homestanding Round Valley Elks.
In early season action, Payson and Round Valley met two common opponents, the Winslow Bulldogs and the Holbrook Roadrunners. Payson was muzzled 11-5 by the Dogs and RV fell 11-0 to the canines.
Against Holbrook, RV won 8-3 and Payson run-ruled the Runners 15-2.
PHS and RV both participated in the Wickenburg Wrangler Invitational, but did not meet one another.
In taking on the Elks, coach Will Dunman has his ace hurler Candice Johnson available for duty. In the Wickenburg invitational, the right-handed fire-baller was named to the all-tournament team after pitching Payson to three wins.
Offensively, senior Aubrey Laird has been swinging a hot bat. In the loss to Camp Verde, she singled, homered off the scoreboard and tripled off the right center field fence.
After taking on RV, the Horns take a break from East action against Holbrook (March 20) and Globe (March 24). Both home games begin at 3:30 p.m.