Lady Longhorn players are basking in the rarefied air of being among the top teams in the AIA power point rankings.
Of the 52 teams competing in Division III, Payson is ranked eighth with its 6-0 non-tournament record. Tournament wins and losses, in which PHS is 8-3, are not calculated in power points.
In the 16-team Section III of Division III, Payson is ranked fourth.
With such lofty credentials, the Lady Longhorns are well on their way to advancing to the post-season Promised Land.
On March 22 at Payson High, the Lady Horns added an 8-1 win over Fountain Hills to their record, thanks to a fourth-inning explosion in which the team rallied for five runs to take a 7-0 lead.
Going into the fifth, PHS was clinging to a precarious 2-0 lead, having scored single runs in the bottom of the first and second frames.
After the five-run rally, the Lady Horns tacked on an insurance tally in the bottom of the sixth and shut out FH in the top of the seventh and final frame.
In the win, Lady Horn hitters enjoyed one of their most prolific outings of the young season, pounding out 12 hits including Arianna Paulson’s double.
Taylor Petersen, the school home run leader, drove in three runs on three hits and Paulson pushed in two runs on two hits.
Megan Wessel also finished with two hits and walked once.
Devann Runzo got the starting pitching nod from coach Will Dunman and went the distance giving up just four hits, walking two and striking out six.
Throughout the game, Runzo was in top hurling form, inducing FH hitters into 12 easy groundouts.
The win over FH marked the second time this season Payson has clipped the Falcons. On March 7 at FHHS, Payson run-ruled the Falcons 14-2.
The Lady Horns will be out to pad their 15-3 record on March 29 against the visiting Mingus Marauders. Game time is 6 p.m.
The following day, Payson travels to Camp Verde for a 3:45 p.m. clash.