Aztec earns No. 3 seed in 4A softball playoffs

Matt Hollinshead,
Aztec's Jocelyn Ulrich slides in safe at third base for a three-run triple against Shiprock's Meah Begay during a District 1-4A game on Thursday, April 18 at the Aztec Tiger Sports Complex. Aztec is the No. 3 seed in this year's 4A playoffs.

FARMINGTON — The Aztec Lady Tigers again demonstrated they belong in the state softball title conversations after beating the likes of Bernalillo, Hobbs, Roswell and Piedra Vista.

Aztec (19-7) not only beat those foes, but did so quite handily. AHS beat Hobbs, Roswell and PV by a combined score of 34-2, further showcasing why it earned the No. 3 seed in this year’s 4A playoffs.

“We’re real happy with that,” said coach Roy Johnson, whose squad will host No. 14 Los Alamos in the opening round. “They look at the people that we’ve beaten, the teams that we played. If you beat them 12-1, that’s not an accident. You’re putting a quality product on the field. The last few years, Aztec is a quality program.”

Aztec eyes its second blue trophy in three years, and many of its key personnel previously experienced winning state back in 2017.

“I think it make it more favorable for us,” said Johnson, whose team has won 15 of its last 17 games entering state.

Aztec, PV baseball will host playoff openers

The Tigers (20-6) earned the No. 4 seed in the 4A baseball playoffs and will host No. 13 Grants. PV (18-8) is the No. 7 seed in 5A and will host No. 10 Sandia.

Aztec’s won 17 of its last 19 games entering state, beating teams like Los Lunas and Los Alamos this year.

PV generated key wins over St. Pius, Hobbs (twice), Cleveland, Albuquerque Academy, Eldorado, Farmington (twice) and La Cueva.

Defending state champion Farmington (15-10) will be the No. 13 seed in 5A and will travel to No. 4 Rio Grande. Navajo Prep (17-4) earned 3A’s No. 9 seed and will travel to No. 8 Santa Fe Indian.

Kirtland Central (13-8) and Bloomfield (13-13) earned the No. 11 and 16 seeds, respectively, in the 4A bracket. KC will travel to No. 6 Santa Teresa, while Bloomfield will travel to No. 1 St. Pius.

In 5A softball, PV (17-9) and Farmington (16-10) earned the No. 9 and No. 12 seeds, respectively. PV will travel to No. 8 Eldorado, while FHS will travel to No. 5 Centennial.

Kirtland Central (12-14) in No. 15 in 4A softball and will travel to No. 2 Los Lunas. Navajo Prep (11-11) is 3A’s softball No. 12 seed, and will face No. 5 Laguna Acoma in the first round Wednesday.

The 4A and 5A softball playoff openers will be single-elimination games Friday and Saturday, while the 4A and 5A baseball playoff openers will be double-elimination games starting Friday.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.