9 Straight Titles!!!!!!!!! A League of Their Own!!!!!!!!!

9 Straight Titles!!!!!!!!!

A League of Their Own!!!!!!!!!

This year I was fortunate enough to work with a softball program doing BIG things. They just capped off another state title to make it 9 in a row! That is NOT a typo, 9 IN A ROW!!! Congratulations to Coach Kevin Werth, his staff, and all the players on their commitment to excellence. Very, very impressive!

I think there are certain lessons that we can all learn from their journey of excellence over nine years. Read the article below and then lets take a deeper look into their success.

4A State Softball: Piedra Vista wins ninth straight title

By Joshua Perry The Daily Times

The Piedra Vista High School softball team prepares to receive its trophy on Saturday after winning the 4A state

title game against Aztec High School at the University of New Mexico’s Lobo softball field in Albuquerque.

(Jesse Hankins/Special to The Daily Times)

PV Softball

ALBUQUERQUE — As the Piedra Vista softball team started the season, questions

loomed about its experience in key areas.

The No. 1 Lady Panthers answered those questions with what head coach Kevin

Werth called the most dominant state tournament performance in PV history as his

squad wrapped up its ninth straight 4A title with a 12-3 victory against No. 2 Aztec

on Saturday at the University of New Mexico’s Lobo softball field in Albuquerque.

“We’ve had some good teams, but these girls are unreal,” said Werth, whose team

won four games in three days by a combined score of 52-7. “We’ve always focused

on the process. We’ve never worried about who was out there or who we were playing.

I can’t say enough about my staff, too. We scout and do a great job preparing our

kids.”

PV Softball Tyra Garcia

Piedra Vista High School’s Tyra Garcia (4) slides into home around Aztec High School’s Taylor Santistevan (10)

on Saturday in the 4A state title game at the University of New Mexico’s Lobo softball field in Albuquerque.

(Jesse Hankins/Special to The Daily Times)

PV scored four runs in the top of the first inning and led the remainder of the contest.

“That’s huge to get a good start and get going,” Werth said.Sophomore catcher Haley Parson jump started

the rally with an RBI single to score Tyra Garcia.

“I just went in with the mindset that my team really needed me, and I needed to play

my best when it mattered most,” said Parson, who had three RBIs in the win. “I did

everything I’d learned in practice these last four months and hit the ball hard for my

team.”

The Lady Panthers added two more runs on RBI singles from Tegan Woosley and

Autumn Begay.

“That was really important because it got us going,” said Begay, who went 3-for-4

with an RBI. “I can’t explain how good this feels. To win nine in a row is amazing.”

The fourth run scored from third base after an illegal pitch by Aztec starter Angela

Minjarez.

“The umpires came out today looking for illegal pitches and that took Angela right

out of her game,” Aztec head coach Jose Santistevan said.

A couple of PV errors in the bottom of the first inning led to two Lady Tiger runs.

Taylor Santistevan and Alix Johnson came up with RBIs in the inning to capitalize

on the Lady Panthers’ mistakes.

“We felt good and were ready to go this morning,” Jose Santistevan said.

The PV offense exploded again in the top of the fourth inning for five runs.

Parson and Halie Hutson had RBI doubles in the rally to help put the game away

for the Lady Panthers.

Sophomore Megan Risner finished the game strong for PV in the circle, throwing a

complete game while allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits.

“Once I got out there, I started to relax,” Risner said. “It was so fun, and I’m glad I

got to be a part of it.”

Parson said the sophomore pitcher-catcher combination provided a chance for the

two players to grow together during the season.

PV Softball Megan Risner

Piedra Vista High School’s Megan Risner (11) pitches against Aztec High School on Saturday in the 4A state

title game at the University of New Mexico’s Lobo softball field in Albuquerque.

(Jesse Hankins/Special to The Daily Times)

“This was a lot like 2012 when there was a new pitcher and a new catcher, and

nobody believed in us,” she said. “We worked in the mornings and afternoons for

three and a half months straight to prove everyone wrong. We did that today, and

we worked our butts off for it.”

The five seniors on the roster — Hutson, Danielle Ortiz, Tabor Woosley, Breanna

Salas and Makayla Duncan — ended their careers knowing nothing but title winning

seasons.

“Our program continues to grow,” Werth said. “We’ve got some kids coming back,

and we’ll keep battling.”

For Aztec, Santistevan said his team will miss their two seniors — Minjarez and

Johnson — but with seven returning starters, he expects to be back next season battling PV again for the title.

“I’m playing six freshman. We’re not going anywhere,” he said. “We’ll be ready to

go next year.”

After visiting with Coach Werth about his girls he told me that they might not have been the most talented group he has had but their work ethic and commitment to the mental game has been greater than any other group that he has had the chance to work with. There was a point during the season that they went 1-4 but with the help of the 1PW System they stayed focused on the process and not the outcome as coach mentioned in the article. After that slump they finished the regular season 8 of 9 and won their district by staying with working towards a great TPI score and using the other 1PW Process Based Measurements. Coach Werth said his girls stayed focused on the little details that if done well create big results.

Another thing I have learned from Coach Werth and his program is they are never satisfied with where they are at or what they have accomplished. It is evident when you read the last paragraph of the article. Both coaches in the title game allude to the next season, “We’ll be ready next year,” and “Continue to grow…we’ll keep battling.” Always looking forward to the next year, next inning, next pitch, or next opportunity to improve their respective programs. This seems to be one common denominator amongst the best programs out there at the high school and college level that I have had the privilege to work with. They all are information seekers and know that they can constantly improve and do things better. They are never satisfied with where they are.

The errors mentioned in the article in the first inning that lead to some runs for the opponent were committed by their shortstop. What wasn’t mentioned was the fact that the last out of the game was on an assist from the Lady Panthers shortstop who wasn’t playing the two errors she committed earlier in the game. She wanted the ball again, she was not tentative nor was she afraid of the ball being hit to her. Coach Werth asked his shortstop after the game about the last out and this is what she said, “Coach I was praying they would hit me the ball again, I wanted the freakin’ ball!” That is a winning mindset! Without the winning 1-Pitch Warrior Mindset the Lady Panthers may have turned a disastrous first inning into more of the same to follow. When we worked together we stressed the fact that they didn’t have to play perfect softball to win the game. One mistake that many teams think going into big games. The poor first inning proved to not be a difference maker for them because they know the difference between excellence and perfection.

We worked many aspects of the mental game and reviewed many concepts leading into their dominant post-season run. It was said to be one of the most impressive of any state championship team in recent history. Congrats to the Lady Panthers and lets make it ten in a row next year!

Coach Werth has been kind enough to offer his time in a follow up 1-Pitch Warrior Weekly Blog to do an interview. I am wanting coaches to post questions on this blog that they would like Coach Werth to answer in regards to their program and its 9 consecutive state titles. Please submit as this summer we will sit down to conduct the interview for the 1PW Community.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment