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Prep baseball, softball seasons race to finish line in San Juan County

Bloomfield's Drew Perez is met by his teammates at home plate after hitting a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at Bobcat Stadium.
Rivalries highlight closing week of regular season

FARMINGTON – The final week of the high school baseball and softball seasons offer a variety of important matchups that will not only settle district championships, but may also determine seedings into respective postseason tournaments.

Here’s a glance at some of the biggest games happening on the diamonds for San Juan County prep teams.

Farmington battles Piedra Vista in doubleheader

Ranked 10th in the state at the 5A classification, the Piedra Vista High School baseball team will be looking to finish strong when they face Farmington in a doubleheader Saturday at noon at Ricketts Park.

The Panthers (15-9 overall, 4-4 District 2-5A) will likely be added to the 16-team state tournament roster when postseason play begins on May 3. Piedra Vista trails both second-ranked La Cueva and seventh-ranked Sandia in the district standings heading into the final week of the regular season.

For Farmington (11-12 overall, 3-5 District), ranked 20th in Class 5A, they likely need to win both games of Saturday’s doubleheader to advance to the state tournament.

Both the Panthers and Scorpions come into the Saturday twin bill looking to end losing streaks. Piedra Vista dropped a pair of games last weekend against Sandia while Farmington was drubbed by a combined margin of 35-4 in a doubleheader last weekend against La Cueva.

Bloomfield on cusp of winning District 1-4A title

The Bloomfield High School baseball team will look to extend its current five-game win streak when they travel to Kirtland Central on Tuesday.

Bloomfield's McKell Colbert receives a throw at third base and attempts to tag out Miyamura's Seth Torres in the top of the third inning on Saturday, April 15, 2023, at Bobcat Stadium.

The Bobcats come into the final week of the season with an overall record of 16-5 (6-2 District 1-4A), good enough to be ranked 10th in the 4A classification by MaxPreps. Their only district losses this season came on the road earlier this month to Gallup and Aztec.

Bloomfield’s district finale on Thursday at Miyamura will likely determine which team wins the district title. The Patriots also have a 6-2 district record, but lost on the road to the Bobcats earlier this month by a final of 19-2.

The defending district champion Aztec Tigers are ranked 13th in Class 4A and will need a strong finish to the season if they hope to make the state tournament. They’ll wrap up the district campaign with a pair of home games, Tuesday against Gallup and Thursday against Kirtland Central.

Farmington, Piedra Vista part of deep district race

The Piedra Vista softball team comes into the final weekend of the season tied atop the District 2-5A standings with La Cueva, with the two teams splitting a doubleheader earlier this season.

The Lady Panthers and Lady Bears both have identical 21-3 records overall, and are both 7-1 in the district campaign.

The Farmington High softball team (17-7 overall, 5-3 District) currently ranked 11th in the state at Class 5A according to MaxPreps, could very well be one of four teams to make the state tournament when seedings are announced later this week. Sandia is ranked 13th according to MaxPreps, but have a winning overall record heading into the final week of the season.

Farmington's Aaliyah Archuleta connects with the ball for a single in the bottom of the sixth inning during the first game of a doubleheader against West Mesa on Friday, April 7, 2023 at Ricketts Softball Fields.

Farmington and Piedra Vista will play a doubleheader Friday afternoon at the Sports Complex. Dating back to 2016, the Lady Panthers have won nine of the last 11 meetings between the two teams.

Gallup appears ready to defend state title

The Gallup High School softball team has run away with the District 1-4A championship and will be a tough out as they compete for a second straight Class 4A state title.

The Lady Bengals, ranked third in the state according to MaxPreps at the 4A classification, have outscored their district rivals by a combined margin of 81-3 through seven games. They’ll wrap up the regular season this week, starting Tuesday at home against Aztec, followed by a Thursday road trip against Shiprock and on Saturday when they visit Miyamura.

Bloomfield and Aztec, ranked 10th and 11th respectively in the latest poll, will need strong finishes to the season in order to advance to the state tournament. The Lady Bobcats finish with a pair of home games, on Tuesday against Kirtland Central followed by a Thursday game against Miyamura.

Navajo Prep running through district race

The Navajo Prep softball team, currently ranked sixth in the state at Class 3A, still have four more District 1-3A games to play this season, starting Tuesday with a home doubleheader against Thoreau.

The Lady Eagles (14-4 overall, 6-0 District) seem likely to advance to the state tournament, and would be seeking their first bid for a state title since playing for the Class 3A title in 1992 against Loving.

Zuni, Tohatchi and Wingate are all currently ranked within the top 13 teams at Class 3A and will need strong finishes to the season to advance to the state tournament.