FARMINGTON — After being the top-ranked 4A softball team for most of year, the seven-time defending 4A state champions Piedra Vista will begin the journey for an eighth title as the No. 1 seed, drawing a first-round matchup with No. 16 Roswell.
“That’s one of our goals, to take care of our business and shoot for that No. 1 seed,” said PV head coach Kevin Werth.
Roswell finished the regular season at 10-16 overall and 2-6 in District 4-4A play.
“We’ve played Roswell the last couple years in the first round,” said Werth. “They’re young and they’re scrappy out there.”
If the Lady Panthers advance past Roswell, a game with the winner of No. 8 St. Pius X and No. 9 Miyamura await them in the quarterfinals.
“That was who we anticipated in the 8/9 spot then if we get by that it’ll likely be Aztec or Los Lunas and those are two quality ball clubs,” Werth said.
Aztec drew the No. 4 seed and will play No. 13 Deming.
Lady Tigers’ head coach Jose Santistevan was a little disappointed his squad was left out of the top three seeds. “I think it’s a little low when Gallup lost to Farmington and Bloomfield,” Santistevan said. “Seeding is so weird, because you have games early in the that you should of won, and Gallup can say the same thing, but we got hurt by four loses and they didn’t.”
Should the Lady Tigers advance, a game with No. 5 Los Lunas, who beat Aztec 8-1 earlier this season, is likely waiting for them in the quarterfinals followed by another potential match up with Piedra Vista.
“We get a chance to redeem ourselves there against Los Lunas,” Santistevan said. “And if we expect to win a state championship, we have to beat PV at some point, whether it’s early or late.”
Farmington High was awarded the No. 11 seed and was paired with a familiar foe in No. 6 Valencia. The Lady Scorps faced the Lady Jaguars twice this season, winning 5-4 and losing 8-7.
After two tight ball games, FHS head coach Johnny Curry is excited for another chance at Valencia.
“I don’t see a better matchup on the bracket then that 6/11,” Curry said. “We’ve seen them twice, so it will make doing the homework on them a little easier.”
In the 3A bracket, Bloomfield was given the No. 3 seed and a game with No. 14 Sandia Prep.
The Lady Bobcats are confident they have the team to take down a title.
“I know we have a good team. We practice hard and play hard every game,” said Bloomfield pitcher Rebecca Sappington after winning the district title. “I know we can come out on top and I know we can definitely take state. I am praying for it. We did fine in 4A, but now that we are in 3A we know it is there. We push ourselves hard, and we have it in us. We are going to do it.”
Shiprock will join Bloomfield in the 3A bracket as the No. 10 seed and will face No. 7 Raton.
The Lady Chiefs’ head coach Levi Toledo said following a loss to Bloomfield he was hoping to get in the No. 8/9 game, but Shiprock will instead face a Raton team that finished the regular season 10-14 and 8-4 in District 2-3A play.
The first round games will take place on Friday or Saturday with the higher seeds hosting.
The 2A bracket is scheduled to be released next Sunday at which point Navajo Prep will learn its seed in the tournament.
Joshua Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4577. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.