FARMINGTON — The top two teams in 4A softball got off to solid starts in district play.
No. 1 Aztec swept a doubleheader against Farmington High, while No. 2 Piedra Vista beat Kirtland Central twice on Friday.
Aztec (19-3, 2-0 District 1-4A) knocked off the Lady Scorpions 18-5 in the first game and then survived a scare to win 9-6 in the second game at the Ricketts Park softball fields.
FHS (9-13, 0-2) entered the top of the seventh inning with a 6-4 in lead in game two, but the Lady Tigers rallied for five runs to escape with a victory.
"I look at these girls, and I never doubt them," Aztec head coach Jose Santistevan said. "There is nobody in the dugout that I'm afraid in going to get an out."
Freshman Sarrah Jones hit a two-run single with the bases loaded for Aztec to put the Lady Tigers up for good.
"Sarrah could lead off for us, and we'd be fine," Santistevan said of Jones, who hit in the No. 9 spot in the order. "She can do the job."
The Lady Scorps opened up their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning after Jordan Curry's three-run home run put FHS ahead 6-2.
"When we play like this in close games, it really brings us together as a team," Curry said.
FHS had a final chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, but Sicily Villano grounded out with runners on first and second to end the game.
Despite the loss, the Lady Scorps believe there is something to be gained from hanging close with the top team in 4A.
"It builds our confidence a lot going into games against PV and Kirtland," outfielder Katelynn Flack said.
Villano threw six and one-third innings in the loss for FHS.
Santistevan said Villano's pitching gives his team problems.
"We always have trouble with Sicily. She just pitches good against us," he said. "It takes forever for us to get anything going against her."
Taylor Santistevan led the way at the plate, going 5-for-5 with five RBIs in the opening game for Aztec.
After each team scored a run in the first inning, Aztec broke the game open with six runs in the second. All the runs scored during the inning were unearned, thanks in large part to three errors by the Lady Scorps' defense.
Aztec pushed the lead to 12-1 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, but FHS added three runs to extend the game.
The Lady Tigers finished off the run-rule victory in the sixth inning with six runs.
Angela Minjarez earned both wins in the circle for Aztec.
PV (14-8, 2-0) started its district season off with a couple of solid wins against KCHS (10-9, 0-2).
The Lady Panthers won the opener 7-0, then defeated the Lady Broncos 11-0 in five innings at the Farmington Sports Complex.
"I was proud of the way they bounced back today," PV head coach Kevin Werth said after his team struggled in a win against Valencia on Thursday.
PV starting pitcher Halie Hutson allowed just two hits in the opening victory.
The Lady Panthers offense scored four runs in the first inning to get the team off to a strong start.
In the second game, PV scored three in the first inning and four in the second inning to put the Lady Broncos away early in the contest.
Megan Risner got the win for PV after allowing two hits in five innings.
"It was good to see Megan come back after a tough outing yesterday," Werth said.
Hutson and Haley Parson starred at the plate for the Lady Panthers.
Hutson hit a pair of home runs with five RBIs in the wins, and Parson went 5-for-7 with a home run in the two games.
"I think we took a couple of steps forward today," Werth said.
All four teams will continue the district season on Friday. Aztec will host Kirtland Central, while PV and FHS will play at the Ricketts Park softball fields.