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Piedra Vista softball sweeps past Farmington

Piedra Vista’s Emma Lovato pitches to a Farmington batter in the bottom of the fourth inning of the second game in a doubleheader on Friday, April 28, 2023 at the Farmington Sports Complex.
Lady Panthers roll past crosstown rival in season finale

FARMINGTON – Behind a pair of tremendous performances from pitcher Emma Lovato, the Piedra Vista High School softball team rolled to a sweep of a doubleheader over crosstown rival Farmington Friday afternoon at the Sports Complex.

Lovato struck out a combined 30 Lady Scorpions hitters in the pair of games, while Landry Bales, Danika Wilson and Lovato each drove in three runs in a 9-1 victory in the opening game of the twin bill.

Piedra Vista led the game 2-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, then scored seven unanswered runs to win the opener.

Piedra Vista closed out the doubleheader, and wrapped up its regular season with an 11-0 shutout over Farmington. In the nightcap, the offense was led by Brookelynne Cadrain and Ayanna Stevens, who each drove in three runs. Stevens went 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run.

Piedra Vista's Ayanna Stevens hits a ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the sixth inning of the first game in a doubleheader against Farmington on Friday, April 28, 2023 at the Farmington Sports Complex.

The sweep over Farmington gives the Lady Panthers a record of 23-3 on the season (9-1 District 2-5A).

In the opening game, Lovato surrendered only a pair of walks and four hits to earn the victory. She scattered only five hits in the nightcap. The 30-strikeout performance in both of the Friday games increases Lovato’s total to 217 on the season, which leads the state of New Mexico in Class 5A according to MaxPreps.

“(Lovato) is throwing great right now, and the girls are giving her plenty of run support,” said Piedra Vista head coach Kevin Werth. “Now we just need to continue to take it one game at a time and hopefully catch a few breaks.”

The Lady Panthers rolled in the nightcap, scoring a run in the first inning, followed by three runs in the third inning before blowing the game open with a four-run outburst in the fifth frame.

The Lady Panthers, currently ranked fifth in the state in Class 5A, finished second in the district standings behind La Cueva. The second-ranked Lady Bears blew out Eldorado 13-1 and 18-0 in a Saturday doubleheader to earn the title even though both Piedra Vista and La Cueva finished with identical 9-1 district marks. La Cueva (23-3, 9-1 District) and Piedra Vista split a doubleheader earlier this month, the only losses suffered by either team during the district campaign.

According to New Mexico Activities Association’s tiebreaking procedures, if two teams finish the season atop the district standings, the second tiebreaker is based on run differential in games against one another. Piedra Vista won the first game of the doubleheader 3-2, but lost the nightcap 9-7 in eight innings.

Both Piedra Vista and La Cueva are expected to compete in the NMAA’s state softball tournament which gets underway next weekend. Seedings for the tournament will be announced Sunday night. Brackets will be available on the NMAA’s website at NMACT.org.

“I like where we’re at right now,” Werth said. “We’re peaking at the right time.”