Aztec’s Hailey Morris rounds second base during Saturday’s game against Kirtland Central High School.
Aztec's Hailey Morris rounds second base during Saturday's game against Kirtland Central High School. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
KIRTLAND — Winning the Kirtland Central softball tournament was never in doubt for Aztec.

The Lady Tigers defeated the Lady Broncos 10-0 in the tournament final on Saturday.

"Kirtland's a district opponent so any time we can beat them we feel good about it," said Aztec head coach Jose Santistevan.

The Lady Tigers won their three games in the tournament with a combined score of 41-2.

Aztec pitchers Angela Minjarez and Hailey Morris combined to shut down the Kirtland hitters, retiring the first 14 Lady Broncos (7-7) before Morris allowed a single with two outs in the fifth inning.

"I was just throwing they way I know how to," Minjarez said. "We've had our ups and downs, but we're getting to our peak."

The Lady Tigers' pitcher kept Kirtland's hitters off balance throughout the game, said Lady Broncos' head coach Roddy Yellowman.

"They were throwing a lot of risers, curveballs and mixing locations," Yellowman said. "We got a very young team, and we're learning. This is all part of the learning process. The girls didn't quit today. That's the mindset we want. No matter what the score is just keep fighting."

The Aztec (15-3) hitters had a strong day at the plate.

Amber Linker and Jerrie Knight each had two RBIs on a pair of hits for the Lady Tigers as Aztec scored two runs in the first and second innings and four more in the third inning to put the game away.

"We were making adjustments, finally," Santistevan said of his team's hitting. "That's what we've been looking for is the girls to see a different pitch and make an adjustment. This was the first time we've seen them do that."

Aztec defeated Navajo Prep 14-2 earlier in the day to advance to the title game.

Santistevan said his team was sloppy in the Prep game and was glad they responded with a better effort against Kirtland.

"We went up 6-0, then went three innings without scoring and committed four errors," Santistevan said. "We hurt ourselves this morning. I don't want to take anything away from Navajo Prep, but it's a different mentality playing against a 2A school compared to a fellow 4A school."

Aztec continues its season on Saturday against Volcano Vista.

"We wanted to play somebody who's going to help us get better ahead of district," Santistevan said.

Joshua Perry can be reached at jperry@daily-times.com; 505-564-4577. Follow him of Twitter @jperrysuu.