The pitching has been strong, just about the entire lineup has contributed on offense and the defense has been solid. It all adds up to the Pahrump Valley softball team looking ready for postseason play at just the right time.
“I’m feeling pretty confident, especially with the way we’re playing defense right now,” Pahrump Valley coach Eli Armendariz said.
For the second year in a row, the Trojans rolled through the Sunset League undefeated, and their 10-0 mark gave them the No. 1 seed for the tournament. They closed the regular season 23-8.
Last year, the top-seeded Trojans reached the Class 3A Southern Region final before losing twice to Moapa Valley in two 6-5 games. But they achieved a measure of revenge when they eliminated the Pirates in the states. Churchill County then ended Pahrump Valley’s state title dreams.
The cast looks familiar this time around, with Moapa Valley the No. 1 seed out of the Sunrise League and Boulder City right behind. Those two are the only Sunrise teams to beat Pahrump Valley this year, with the Pirates winning 8-7 and the Eagles taking a 3-1 contest.
Armendariz sees another very competitive postseason with those two teams in the field.
“I do, absolutely,” he said. “Even Chaparral, who we start with, they’re the No. 4 team in that division but if they were on this side they would be the No. 2 team. We’ll have a tough time with the brackets this year.”
A 10-7 win Friday over Class 4A Durango provided an extra confidence boost heading into the postseason.
“I feel really good about the way we hit against Durango,” Armendariz said. “They threw a pitcher who had beaten us before, and we got her out of there real quick.”
Although Amaya Mendoza is the ace of the staff, Armendariz likes to employ multiple pitchers, not just during a week but during the same game. He indicated that, depending on the flow of a game, he will do the same during the postseason.
“(Allyson) Rily is developing more confidence, getting more zip on the ball,” Armendariz said. And Hailey Cuellar allowed one hit and struck out four in three innings in Saturday’s win at Western to wrap up the regular season.
Another opponent might play a role this postseason.
“The heat might fatigue us real quick,” Armendariz said. “We have to stay hydrated all the time so we can keep going.”
But otherwise, despite a potentially challenging bracket, the Trojans coach feels his team is up to the task.
“We just have to get out there and do our thing,” he said.
The region tournament continues with a home game at 3:30 p.m. today against Western or Boulder City.
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