FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista softball team sent its nine seniors out with smiles in their final home game, blasting crosstown rival Farmington 10-0 tonight at the Farmington Sports Complex.
"I think we realized at the start of the game tonight that this is it. You could definitely see it in some of the seniors' eyes. It was really important that we enjoy this one because it's our last home game and we want to finish on a high note," PV senior third baseman Livia Hensley said. "It was more important than anything that we do this together, having as much fun and enjoyment as possible."
The Lady Panthers wasted no time taking control of the game.
Cheyenne Stark got PV going with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning.
PV added runs later in the inning with RBIs from Alyssa Herrod and Nicole Johnson, then got a two-out two-RBI single from junior Ananda Delegarito in the nine hole.
With Stark coming back up for the second time in the inning, the junior ripped another home run, this time driving in three runs to make it 8-0.
"There was a lot of energy (in the dugout)," PV senior shortstop Natalie Martin said of the first inning. "I think we all felt like we were going to get a hit. We weren't hoping we would, we just knew we were going to play well. We kept it going and going and we had a lot of momentum that first inning."
Stark added to PV's lead in the third, hitting a two-out RBI single to push the lead to 9-0.
Stark ended the game in the bottom of the fifth with another RBI single. She finished the day four for four with six RBIs.
Farmington had its chances to cut into PV's lead, but couldn't capitalize on its opportunities.
In the top of the third, Meghan Shim hit a lead-off double, but PV pitcher Morgan Anderson got the next batter to fly out and struck out the next two to get out of the inning.
Then in the fifth, the Lady Scorps worked the bases loaded with no outs before PV senior Sydney Schumacher, who came on in relief of Anderson, struck out the next three batters she faced to get out of the jam.
PV coach Kevin Werth said a key factor in Anderson and Schumacher's ability to keep Farmington from putting up any runs was the confidence boost they got when the Lady Panthers took control of the game early on.
"When you throw up a snowman in the bottom of the first, it allows our pitching to relax and throw their game," Werth said. "I haven't seen Morgan that relaxed and pitching that well in a while, and we're going to need that."
Farmington will close out the regular season on Friday, playing a doubleheader at Gallup.
PV will play at Rio Rancho Wednesday, then at Cibola on Saturday to close out the regular season.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.