Piedra Vista third baseman Kieyoomia Benally (30) attempts to throw out an Aztec runner at first on Friday at the Aztec Tigers Sports Complex.
Piedra Vista third baseman Kieyoomia Benally (30) attempts to throw out an Aztec runner at first on Friday at the Aztec Tigers Sports Complex. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

AZTEC — For the eighth straight season, the Piedra Vista softball team is the District 1-4A champion.

The Lady Panthers claimed the title after splitting a doubleheader with Aztec on Friday at the Aztec Tigers Sports Complex.

PV (17-9, 5-1 District 1-4A) dropped the opening game to the Lady Tigers 4-3 and then won the second game 13-6, taking the district title by the run-differential tiebreaker.

"I'm so proud of this group of girls. They're unbelievable," PV head coach Kevin Werth said.

After opening the doubleheader with a loss, PV responded early in the second game.

The Lady Panthers scored six runs in the top of the first inning and never let go of the lead.

Piedra Vista’s Megan Risner (11) pitches against Aztec on Friday at the Aztec Tigers Sports Complex.
Piedra Vista's Megan Risner (11) pitches against Aztec on Friday at the Aztec Tigers Sports Complex. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

Haley Parson, Autumn Begay and Kieyoomia Benally led the way with RBI hits in the inning to get PV off to a hot start.

"Coming into the doubleheader, Aztec was No. 1 all year. They were the one everybody was chasing, and they got us in a great ball game," Werth said. "Our kids fought hard in the second game. Everybody contributes, and that's the thing for us."

Aztec (22-4, 5-1) was never able to cut the lead to less than five runs the rest of the game.

In the opening game, Aztec won in unusual fashion.

The Lady Tigers loaded the bases with a couple of singles and a walk and then Taylor Santistevan reached on a catcher's interference to force home the winning run.

"I think they were just trying to keep Taylor from hitting the ball hard," Aztec head coach Jose Santistevan said.

The Lady Panthers scored the first three runs of the game.

PV struck in the bottom of the second inning with a sacrifice fly to score the first run and then added two more in the third inning after two Aztec outfielders collided on a fly ball that allowed a pair of runs to score.

Aztec answered with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Aztec’s Taylor Santistevan (10) heads for home after hitting a home run against Piedra Vista on Friday at the Aztec Tigers Sports Complex.
Aztec's Taylor Santistevan (10) heads for home after hitting a home run against Piedra Vista on Friday at the Aztec Tigers Sports Complex. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

Taylor Santistevan hit a 2-run home run to centerfield and then CheyAnn Simkins tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI single.

PV had a chance to go ahead in the top of the seventh, but after Danielle Ortiz reached second with no outs, the Lady Panthers were unable to bring her in to score.

Angela Minjarez of Aztec and PV's Megan Risner started both games for their teams, each taking a win and a loss in the two outings.

The two teams will find out on Sunday where they're seeded in the state tournament, but it's likely PV will be No. 1, followed by Aztec at No. 2.

Both teams will be off until their first round matchups.

Farmington sweeps Kirtland

The Lady Scorpions (11-15, 2-4) closed their regular season with a sweep of Kirtland Central (11-13, 0-6) on Friday.

FHS won the first game 17-2 and the second game 15-0.

"We just played really well in both games," FHS head coach Johnny Curry said.

Jordan Curry picked up the win for FHS in the opening game, and Sicily Villano earned the victory in the second game.

"Both pitched really well for us," Curry said.

Sarah Huffhines hit a home run in the second game to highlight the offense for the Lady Scorps, but Curry said everybody in the lineup found a way to chip in and help FHS.

"We struggled a little at the very first, but eventually we dialed in and everybody contributed in one way or another," he said.

Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and jperry@daily-times.com. Follow him @jperrysuu on Twitter.