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The Piedra Vista Panthers went 2-for-2 in state championship contests this weekend.
Piedra Vista’s baseball and softball teams, two of the dominant forces in New Mexico, proved their dominance once again by sweeping this year’s baseball and softball Class 4A championships Saturday.
The Panther baseball team capped off a big run in the state tournament Saturday afternoon by downing the Goddard Rockets 7-6 in the championship game at Isotopes Park.
Earlier in the day, the Panther softball team earned its ninth consecutive state title by thumping Aztec 12-3 at Lobo Field.
In baseball, the Panthers were the No. 1 seed in the 4A draw but they were considered somewhat vulnerable this season — they dropped nine games in the regular season and had several close calls against other Class 4A opponents. Then, in the quarterfinal round, had a tough contest against ninth-seeded Deming before prevailing 5-2.
The Panthers then rolled to a 9-1 victory over fifth-seeded Albuquerque Academy before the championship game against Goddard.
Goddard was the No. 2 seed overall and had a fairly good argument for the No. 1 seed, but Piedra Vista won that contest to take its fourth state baseball title in five years. Piedra Vista was upset in the 2013 championship game by St. Pius X.
Goddard (26-5), of course, topped Los Alamos 4-1 in the quarterfinal round last week to knock the Hilltoppers out of the 4A playoffs.
In softball, the Panthers (22-9) were the only team to make it through the double-elimination tournament unscathed. The Panthers swept through the field, including topping their District 1 rival Aztec for the title.
Earlier in the tournament, the Tigers were bumped into the loser’s bracket by the Bernalillo Spartans, who won the District 2 championship this year over Los Alamos. Bernalillo was actually within two wins of the state title this season, but couldn’t overcome Piedra Vista to get into the championship series.
Aztec fought its way back through the loser’s bracket, topping Bernalillo in their second meeting, for the right to face Piedra Vista in the finals.
In the championship, Piedra Vista hitters pounded out 14 hits. Sophomore Haley Parson went 2-for-4 and had 3 RBI for the Panthers, while senior Danielle Ortiz had a triple and drove in two runs.
Megan Risner pitched a complete game for Piedra Vista and didn’t allow an earned run.
Los Alamos made it to the 4A playoffs as an at-large team, but didn’t survive the first round, falling to Valencia 10-0.