At midseason prep softball fans were predicting the Division III championship game would most likely pit the state’s top two ranked teams, Payson and Estrella Foothills, against one another.
After all, both sported the best won-loss records in the state and in a mid-March clash in the Gracie Haught Classic, the Wolves stole a run in the bottom of the final inning to win a 1-0 thriller.
But the prognostications of a Lady Longhorn vs. EF finale never came to fruition after Bourgade dumped Payson 7-2 on March 11 in a state semifinal showdown at Rose Mofford Complex in Phoenix.
Immediately after the Lady Longhorn’s loss, Estrella fell to Winslow, 11-0, in the other final four game.
The following day, March 12, at Mofford, Bourgade muzzled Winslow 7-1 to win the school’s first ever state softball championship.
Payson’s loss can be attributed to shoddy defensive play in which the team committed several costly errors that had the team down 1-0 early, 5-0 midway through the game and later 7-0.
Bourgade left handed hurler Jackie Aguilar shackled the lady Horns all evening long striking out 14, including the first four batters she faced
Payson’s ace hurler Arianna Paulson struck out 10 but struggled with her control after several questionable ball and strike calls from the home plate umpire.
See the May 15 Payson Roundup for complete game coverage