FARMINGTON — Piedra Vista softball is used to posing for photos with championship banners, but Friday was the Lady Panthers' chance to honor head coach Kevin Werth with a banner of his own.
Piedra Vista defeated La Cueva 18-1 and 12-2 in a doubleheader in Albuquerque, giving Werth is 300th and 301st career wins as a high school softball head coach.
"It was definitely a nice gesture, but the wins are a culmination of coaching a lot of great kids and having great seasons and great support at home," Werth said about receiving the banner. "It was fun and it was a good way to get 300. Hopefully we get a lot more wins as we go."
Werth credited his assistant coaches such as Frank Whalen, Tommy Ward and Bryan Chavez for their long standing support.
"I couldn't ask for better people. Whalen and Ward have been with me since Day 1 at PV and Chavez and I spent five years together at Shiprock," Werth said. "We left the same year and he went to Bloomfield and won state titles himself before joining me at PV. It is nice to share it with these guys for sure."
Werth has now earned 215 wins in nine seasons with PV. He had 86 wins at Shiprock before joining PV.
Since taking the job with the Lady Panthers, Werth has coached the team to seven consecutive 4A state championships.
"I have never thrown a pitch, fielded a ground ball or swung a bat. It all comes back to the players. All we can do is prepare them," Werth said.
New Mexico State University commit Susie Chandler belted two home runs in the first game against La Cueva on Friday to help Werth crack the 300 barrier. Chandler, a senior, was 3-for-4 with seven RBIs in the game.
Freshman Haley Parson also hit a three-run home run in Game 1 for the Lady Panthers.
Werth was happy to see the team's bats come alive after struggling a week earlier in Anaheim, Calif., at the Michelle Carew Classic.
"It is nice to see the kids hit the ball the way they are capable of hitting. A lot of them got frustrated in California, but I told them they have to realize the level of competition they were facing," Werth said. "They came in (Friday) and did what they are taught. They let the ball travel, and they hit it to the right side."
PV (11-8) played some small ball in the 12-2 win in Game 2.
"It was the best small ball game we have played since I have been at PV," Werth said. "We executed the short game very well."
Danielle Ortiz added a triple in the second game after also tripling in the first.
Tabor Woosley was 3-for-3 with three RBIs in Game 2 while Breanna Salas was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
After the 1-4 finish in California, Werth said it felt great to sweep the No. 4-ranked team in 5A in the state.
"A lot of our girls have done the California trip before. They know when we come back we put things together and figure it out," Werth said.
PV is done traveling outside of the county for the remainder of the regular season.
The Lady Panthers will face Bloomfield on Thursday before beginning the District 1-4A schedule on Friday at Kirtland Central.
"No matter what, we are going to take things one game at a time and prepare ourselves the best we can for when state approaches," Werth said. "Of course, we know our district will be a dog fight."
John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.