Softball Hopes Fall To Region Rival At 3a State Tournament

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The Lady Longhorns' quest for postseason honors came to a screeching halt in the first round of the Class 3A state softball tournament.

In one of eight opening games played May 2 at Rose Mofford Softball complex in Phoenix, Payson fell 10-5 to Snowflake.

Playing a longtime rival from the East region was somewhat of an oddity in state tournament games.

Most often, the tournament pits teams from different regions against one another.

But since Payson qualified for state on power points and as the region's fourth-place team, the No. 12 Lady Horns drew the No. 5 Lobos.

Payson's loss marked the third time this season the Lady Horns dropped a decision to Snowflake.

In regular season action, the Lady Horns lost a 7-9 heartbreaker on April 8 and a 4-1 decision on April 25.

The loss wrapped up a break even 15-15 season for the Lady Horns who were 5-5 in East region play.

After Snowflake whipped PHS in the opening round, the Lobos were eliminated the following day, 6-2, by Santa Cruz.

In final four showdowns May 9 at Rose Mofford, No. 1 Winslow will meet No. 4 Santa Cruz and No. 6 Window Rock takes on No. 2 Wickenburg.

The Lady Horns met two of those teams, Winslow and Santa Cruz, during the past season. PHS fell to both by identical 11-15 scores.

The final four winners meet at 7:30 p.m. May 10 for the state championship.

Payson's loss to Snowflake marks the end of the prep career for five seniors who will graduate later this month with the class of 2008.

The seniors include Hannah Palandri, Candice Johnson, Hannah Armenta, Aubrey Laird and Sarah Cadd.

Johnson and Cadd have indicated they will continue their softball careers on the collegiate level.

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