Lady Horns’ State Title Pursuit Begins

Caught in a pickle between Lady Longhorns Devann Runzo, left, and Natalie Black, right, this Blue Ridge player had no place to go but the dugout. The out come was never in doubt. The Lady Longhorns led from the first inning on and continued to play well through the entire game. Blue Ridge managed one run but couldn't keep up with the lady Longhorns and the final score was 9-1.

Caught in a pickle between Lady Longhorns Devann Runzo, left, and Natalie Black, right, this Blue Ridge player had no place to go but the dugout. The out come was never in doubt. The Lady Longhorns led from the first inning on and continued to play well through the entire game. Blue Ridge managed one run but couldn't keep up with the lady Longhorns and the final score was 9-1. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Action should be fast, furious and heated today, Friday, May 4, at Rose Mofford Complex in Phoenix where 16 of the state’s finest prep softball teams continue their pursuit of a state championship.

In all, 24 Division III teams were seeded into the tournament, but eight were eliminated in the first round on May 2.

Among the teams battling for honors are the No. 1 ranked Lady Longhorns who play at 6 p.m. today against No. 17 Fountain Hills.

If the Lady Horns win, they will advance to an elite eight showdown at 9 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, probably against No. 8 Mingus. The final four will be played May 11 and the championship at 8 p.m. May 12.

Some fans anticipate the finale could pit Payson against No. 2 seeded Estrella Foothills.

The two teams, both unbeaten in regular season play, met on March 17 in the Gracie Haught Classic in Rumsey Park.

After a furious, scoreless battle, Estrella scored late to win a 1-0 thriller.

But before fans can begin looking ahead to a rematch against the Wolves, there are several other exceptional teams that could derail Lady Horn hopes. They include No. 3 Winslow, No. 4 Benson and No. 5 Bourgade.

Also, Mingus can’t be counted out, mostly because the Marauders played the Lady Horns plenty tough on March 29 before falling 4-2.

If the Lady Horns succeed in marching unbeaten through the single elimination tournament, it would result in the program’s first-ever state championship.

Elk bugling

Payson Elks Clothe-A-Child Golf Tournament director Becky Waer is urging linksters to sign up as soon as possible for the annual benefit to be played July 21 at Payson Golf Course.

Check-in is at 7 a.m. when coffee and doughnuts will be served. At 8 a.m. the fray gets off to a shotgun start. The format is four-man teams of best-ball play and golfers who do not have a team will be assigned one.

The fee is $80 per golfer ($55 for PGC members), which includes 18 holes of play with a cart, lunch, raffle prizes and awards for closest to the pin and straightest drive.

The evening of the local tournament, July 21, a dinner, cocktail hour, silent auction, music and dancing will be held at the Payson Elks Lodge. The no-host cocktail hour begins at 5 p.m., the dinner at 6 p.m., with music by Junction 87 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Entry forms are available at the Elks Lodge, 1206 N. Beeline Highway. For more information, call Waer at (928) 476-3678, or the lodge at (928) 474-2572.

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