The Longhorn softballers smashed archrival Show Low 7-1 last night on a storybook run for the playoffs — and the first chance in years at a state championship.
Pitcher Arianna “Ace” Paulson had another stellar game, striking out 17 of the 21 batters who faced her. Paulson also hit three singles, scored twice and batted in three runs, retaining her standing as the most reliable hitter on what has turned into a Dream Team for Payson.
The team also demonstrated its depth in the batter’s box, with hits from Kaitlyn Wessel, Megan Wessel and Natalie Black. Catcher Taylor Petersen and left fielder Kaitie Jones turned in stand-out defensive performances.
Coach Kadi Tenney said the team just keeps getting better. “They are competitive. They’re driven. They’re in it to win. They have that dig-deep, get-it-done mindset and that makes a big difference.”
For coverage of last week’s runaway win over Mogollon, see today’s sports page.
The team hits the road again on Thursday to take on Miami.