Stars Wage Diamond Wars


Emma Nelson of Payson’s 10-11-year-old fast-pitch softball team slides to beat the tag at third base. The Payson All Stars opened against Flagstaff with an 8-7 win and later lost 15-10 to the same Flagstaff team to set up a for-all-the-marbles finale played yesterday, July 9, at Rumsey Park.

Emma Nelson of Payson’s 10-11-year-old fast-pitch softball team slides to beat the tag at third base. The Payson All Stars opened against Flagstaff with an 8-7 win and later lost 15-10 to the same Flagstaff team to set up a for-all-the-marbles finale played yesterday, July 9, at Rumsey Park. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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While some Payson Little League softball and baseball teams have been eliminated from postseason Area 1 tournaments, three remain in contention for upcoming District 1 and the Arizona state tournament.

The 10-11-year-old baseball team dropped its first two tournament games in Flagstaff and has been ousted from play.

The girls 10-11 fast-pitch softball team opened with an 8-7 win over Flagstaff and later lost 15-10 to the same Flagstaff team to set up a for-all-the-marbles finale played yesterday, July 9, at Rumsey Park against Flagstaff.

The 11-12-years baseball team lost its tournament opening game to Holbrook, but then roared back through the losers bracket to earn tournament runner-up honors and a second seed into the District 1 tournament.

The stars played yesterday, July 9, at Rumsey against Show Low.

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Jodi Taylor, shortstop for the Payson All Stars, catches the ball but the Flagstaff base stealer was quicker and made it safely to second base.

Payson’s 13-14-years baseball team won the Area 1 crown and advanced to District 1 play yesterday against Blue Ridge.

(None of the results of yesterday’s games were available at press time.)

In Payson’s 10-11-years fast-pitch first game vs. Flagstaff on July 6, Kalea Smith started on the hill and “threw real well,” said manager Andre Newell.

As good as she was, it took a four-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning for Payson to erase Flagstaff’s three-run lead and nail down the victory.

Offensively, Jenna Smith finished 3-for-4 and Kalea aided her own cause with a double.

Defensively, the team did not commit an error, said Newell.

On July 8, the Payson stars met Flagstaff again, falling by five runs.

This time out, base running errors and fielding miscues spelled the demise of Payson.

Jenna Smith hurled five full innings, and “pitched real well,” said Newell.

In the Payson 11-12-years baseball team’s 17-16 win over Flagstaff Continental on July 6 at Rumsey Park, Garret Chance’s two-out single to right field in the bottom of the sixth scored Gage Belcher with the winning run.

After falling to Holbrook in the opener, the Payson celestial crew won four straight games to earn a berth into the district tournament.

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