FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista softball team is entering the postseason on a high note after wining the District 1-4A title and claiming the top seed in the 4A bracket.
Haley Parson played a major role in the Lady Panthers' late season run.
Parson went 4-for-8 from the plate against Aztec in the split of a doubleheader against the Lady Tigers including two runs and two doubles in the 13-6 victory that gave PV the district championship.
The sophomore has been on the varsity roster since her eighth-grade season, but this is her first season starting, and she said she was ready coming into the year for the additional playing time.
"This was my debut year and I've really tried to help my team out as much as possible," Parson said.
The past experience has paid dividends for Parson, who has a lot of pressure on her shoulders as the catcher and clean-up hitter for the eight-time defending champions.
She said she has relished the additional responsibility this season.
"It pushes me to do better," Parson said. "Putting that pressure on me helps me perform."
PV head coach Kevin Werth has seen his young catcher's game continue to grow throughout the season and said he's excited about her potential to improve with another two seasons still ahead of her.
"She has come into her own this year," Werth said. "She's still learning and doing a great job. I think the biggest thing for her is she's become a better leader. Your catcher has got to be one of your leaders and she's done a good job accepting that role."
On top of her defensive duties, Parson has been one of the most productive PV hitters, leading the team in RBIs and sitting second in batting average, hits, doubles and home runs.
"I've hit some lulls this season," she said of her hitting. "But I just come to practice every day and work on my batting. I think about what I had trouble with — the pitches I couldn't hit, my stance — and I just adjust."
The Lady Panthers will open the postseason on Friday and Parson said she is confident the team has come together and is playing as well as it has all season.
"I think as a team, we've peaked at the right moment this season," she said. "I think we're so closely bonded. Being a team and staying a team these next five games won't be an issue. If we stay together and play the way we can, then we know we'll come out on top."