Although the Arizona Interscholastic Association will today, April 23, announce an updated set of baseball and softball power point rankings, both Payson High teams were highly ranked when last week’s ratings were compiled.
The Lady Longhorns, who are 14-0 in power points and 20-4 overall, were ranked first among 51 Division III schools and are not expected to fall in today’s rankings.
Coach Brian Young’s Longhorn baseball team, with its 11-6 record (16-9 overall) was most recently sitting eighth, among 55 teams. But the Horns could fall due to a 9-6 loss to Show Low on April 19.
Power point ranking records and overall records differ because the AIA does not count tournament games in its PP rankings.
The rankings bode well for both teams in their quest for berths into the 24-team state tournament. The D-III state baseball tournament tips off April 30 at a site to be determined and the softball ball finals begin May 1, also at a location to be determined.
Power points will be used to determine berths into the state playoffs.
In softball, Empire (17-0) is ranked second and Benson (14-0) third. But fourth-ranked Estrella Foothills (15-1) might be the team that stands in the Lady Horns’ way as the group tries to earn the school’s first-ever state softball championship.
EF is 27-2 overall and has split two games against the Lady Horns this season.
On March 2 in the Wickenburg Invitational, the Wolves beat Payson 8-2, but on March 23 in the championship game of the Gracie Haught Classic, the Lady Horns reversed fortunes, winning 7-5.
In baseball, No.1 River Valley (17-0) could be the best of Division III but second-ranked Show Low (11-2) and third-ranked Fountain Hills (11-2) have played tough schedules and remain solid contenders for state honors.
Show Low is particularly tough due to the presence of all-everything pitcher Zach Winn who was almost unhittable in the Cougars’ 5-1 in over PHS on April 10.
The two PHS teams return to action today, April 23, at home vs. Camp Verde. Game times are 6 p.m. and the game has been designated “Senior Night.” Also, the two squads will host their annual benefit barbecue dinner during the evening.
Today, April 23, the Lady Horns take on Camp Verde, the junior varsity team will play at 4 p.m. and the varsity will play at 6 p.m.
The team’s last game before the state playoffs will be at 5 p.m., Wednesday, April 24 against Blue Ridge.
Both games will be on PHS field.
Click here PHS Softball to purchase softball pictures.