The hard-chargin’ Lady Longhorn softball team wrapped up the 2013 regular season by stinging the frustrated Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets 19-0 in a blowout that ended after 4-1/2 innings on the 10-run Mercy Rule.
With the “W” on April 24 on Payson High diamond, The Lady Horns improved to 24-4 overall and the Jackets fell to 14-13.
Although much of the credit for the victory must go to the shut-out pitching of starter Arianna Paulson and relievers Arissa Paulson and Sadie Dunman, it was Payson’s lights-out offense that highlighted the slugfest.
The blitzkrieg on “O” was fueled by the one-two hitting punch of sisters Taylor and Payton Petersen.
Payton slugged every hitter’s dream, a grand slam home run, while Taylor, a senior bound for a college softball career, slapped a circuit blast of her own. This season, Taylor has set a school home run record of 17 and could add even more with the state tournament coming up next weekend.
Both Petersens finished with five RBIs each.
Another sister team on the roster, Megan and Kaitlyn Wessel, also provided plenty of firepower. Both hit doubles and Megan finished with two RBIs and a stolen base.
Arianna Paulson, Cori Barnett and Dunman also had extra base hits. Dunman also contributed four RBIs.
During Arianna Paulson’s two-inning stint on the mound her control was impeccable as she threw strikes on 21 of her 29 pitches. Arissa Paulson, pitching in relief, was credited with the win.
With the regular season at an end, the Lady Horns have almost a full week of practices to prepare for the 2013 Division III state tournament that begins May 2 at Rose Mofford Complex in Phoenix. Payson opens pursuit of the school’s first-ever state title at 8 p.m., Friday, May 3 against the winner of a state first-round game pitting Thatcher against Wickenburg.
All games will be played at the Mofford Complex.