Portales wraps up district softball title
Lovington was more of a challenge on Friday night than it was when the teams met Tuesday.
Just not nearly enough, as Portales never trailed and dominated a 15-5, 11-1 sweep Friday at Wheeler Park.
link Staff photo: Kevin Wilson
Lovington catcher Tori Ochoa looks up for a possible play after Portales senior Kacie Terry escapes the tag at home in the fourth inning of the first game.
The opening win wrapped up the District 4-3A championship for Portales (17-6, 6-0), which concludes the regular season Friday in Ruidoso.
Sophomore Kiersten Ramirez picked up both wins, and allowed just one run on two hits in the nightcap, which saw Portales pick up all of its runs in the final three innings, including a five-spot in the sixth to wrap it up via the 10-run mercy rule.
“That’s one of the positives,” Portales coach Robbie Crowley said. “They were patient and let it come to them.”
Junior third baseman Kailee Ramirez went 5-for-8 on the day, four of them for extra bases, and eight RBIs. She hit a hooking home run to left field in the nightcap, and came just a single from hitting for the cycle.
Senior Francis Armijo led the charge in the opener, going 4-for-4 with three runs scored and three driven in. She went 5-for-6 on the day, including three walks and five runs scored.
“She did really well defensively, too,” Crowley said. “She got hit in the face; a ball popped up and hit her during practice yesterday. But it didn’t faze her.”
Lovington (7-15-1, 2-4) extended matters in the opener with a five-run fifth. Third baseman Juana Garcia did the biggest damage, hitting an 0-2 pitch up the middle to score a pair.
But Portales put the game on ice with two runs in the sixth as all five batters reached base — four on singles — and scored the clinching run on a single to right by Armijo.
Crowley said the time off will be helpful to a Portales team that has played 10 games in the last 11 days, with six of them on the road.
“I’m going to work with Kiersten; she hasn’t had a lot of practice time,” Crowley said. “Of course, we have to keep working on hitting and defense. We’re going to have some good days of practice, and that’s what we need.”