Navajo Prep softball team forfeits eight wins
Lady Eagles lose district title, potential spot in 4A state tourney
- Navajo Prep had to forfeit eight wins on the season.
- Three of the forfeited wins were in district play, costing the Lady Eagles the District 1-4A title.
- With a 4-12 record, Prep's state tournament hopes are now in question.
FARMINGTON — The Navajo Prep softball team went from winning the District 1-4A title to finishing with a losing record and only four wins to show on the season after having to forfeit eight of its 16 games this season.
All eight of the games forfeited were originally wins, and three of those wins were in district play.
Navajo Prep athletic director Rainy Crisp said the forfeits were due to the team using an ineligible player. The school will not appeal the ruling.
Before the forfeits, Prep was tied atop the district standings with Shiprock and held the tiebreaker against the Lady Chieftains on run differential in head-to-head games, which would have given the team the district title and automatic bid to the 4A state tourney.
"For the season as a whole, I couldn't be more proud of the girls. Moving up to 4A, without this happening, we would have been district champs," Prep coach Bryan Heaston said. "I told (the girls) they have nothing to hang their head about. Certain situations happen and create adversity. Even though they didn't create the adversity, they have to deal with it. Those girls know who won on the field. The way they've handled this, I'm proud of them."
After the forfeits, Shiprock was declared the district champion and will get an automatic bid to the state tournament May 10-12 in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.
The Lady Eagles swept Wingate 13-7 and 22-5 Thursday, which put the team at 5-1 in district before it forfeited the three district wins. Now the team sits at 2-4 in district, the two wins over Wingate being the only ones that count, and 4-12 overall.
In the latest MaxPreps' rankings, which were released this morning before the forfeits were recorded, Prep was ranked sixth in 4A.
This year, the state tournament moves from a 16-team field to a 12-team field. Five of the 12 spots go to district champions, and the remaining seven are at-large bids.
Both Crisp and Heaston said they are optimistic the Lady Eagles will receive an at-large bid to the tourney despite the eight forfeit losses.
"There's still a good chance that we will be selected — possibly," Heaston said. "You never know, but you can't give up on it."
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.