Payson High Softball, Baseball Struggle Against Jackets, Cougars

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Lady Longhorn Kaitlyn Wessel made this play at first base, but her team came up short (11-5) against Blue Ridge March 30.

Wins were hard to come by this past week at Payson High School.

The Lady Longhorn softball team fell 11-5 on March 30 to Blue Ridge and a day later was rode hard a put up wet, 11-2, by the Show Low Cougars.

The baseball team didn’t fare any better, being run-ruled, 16-1, on March 30 by Blue Ridge.

As a result of those losses, the Lady Longhorns are clinging to the 16th and final playoff slot in the AIA power rankings, but the baseball team sits in 11th place and is in reasonably good position for a seed into the playoffs.

The softball team preceded its losses to the Jackets and Cougars by sweeping a twin bill, 21-4 and 22-0, over the Alchesay Falcons.

Playing March 26 in Whiteriver, the Lady Horns slapped five home runs in two games to completely overpower the Falcons.

Freshman Taylor Petersen continued her hitting tear, punching two round-trip tickets in the first game. Kelsey Waugh and Mary Hagen also swatted home runs.

Hagen started on the hill in the first game and was credited with the win.

Freshman Megan Wessel, who began the season on the junior varsity, went the distance in the second game to earn the win.

In the six-run loss to Blue Ridge, on the PHS diamond, Hagen started and struggled early before settling in during the last four innings.

“She didn’t allow a runner to get past second,” said assistant coach Kadi Tenney.

Hagen, however, didn’t receive much defensive support from her teammates as the Jackets scored mostly unearned runs.

In losing to the Cougars in Show Low, both teams battled cool weather and windy conditions that rendered infield and outfield play an adventure.

Petersen added another home run to her growing list by going yard in the first inning.

The Wessel twins, Megan and Kaitlyn, also enjoyed a good day at the plate. Megan was two for three and Kaitlin poked a double.

Although the two losses were tough for the players and staff to absorb, Tenney is staying positive, with her sights set on helping the team reach its playoff goals. “We have talented players, we need to turn this around,” she said.

Jackets prevail against hardballers

The baseball team’s loss to Blue Ridge could be summed up as a case of too much Ty Webster.

The Jacket hurler dominated during his five-inning stint on the mound, giving up just three hits and one run while striking out five and walking only one.

At the plate, he stroked a double, scored two runs and had two RBIs.

For Payson, Sean Dougherty opened on the hill and hurled four innings before giving way to Ever Figueroa and Keaton Duran who faced a whopping 17 batters in just one inning.

Dougherty gave up seven hits and five earned runs, but struck out a game-high six opposing batsmen.

Offensively Westin Gibson was 2-for-2 at the plate, including a double and RBI. Jake Sleeper also had a double and Dakota Marshall punched a single.

The baseball team travels today, April 2, to near Goodyear where it will participate in the Wolves Classic Tournament.

The softball team is in action today in Snowflake.

Game time is 4 p.m.

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