The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Portales gets split in opening doubleheader


March 19, 2017

David Norton

Portales' Devyn Lopez takes a cut at a pitch during the first game of the Lady Rams' softball doubleheader against Robertson on Saturday at Wheeler Park. The teams split the twin bill, with Robertson taking a 14-3 decision in the opener before PHS rallied in the nightcap to win 7-6 in eight innings.

PORTALES — In its first games of the season, the Portales High softball team posted a split with Robertson on Saturday, rallying to take the first game 7-6 in eight innings before dropping the nightcap 14-3 at Wheeler Park.

Freshman Wendy Baeza started both games for the Lady Rams, pitching all eight innings in the opener before heading to the bench midway through the second contest. Robertson's (3-4) Kendra Duran picked up the win in game two, while doing the lion's share of the work for Robertson in the opener.

Baeza finished the day with 17 combined strikeouts, five in the first game, while giving up 10 earned runs on eight hits. Duran tallied 21 strikeouts and allowed six earned runs over the course of both games.

"(Baeza is) by no means perfect, we have some work to do," Lady Rams coach Robbie Crowley said. "Coming out this first game, I know she's just going to get better every outing and as we get her in better pitching shape. She's just going to be amazing as time goes on."

In the win, the Lady Rams were staring at a 3-0 deficit before scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Robertson tacked on two more and led 5-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh.

Portales, though, forced extra innings with three runs put up three runs. After the Lady Cardinals regained a 6-5 lead in the top of the eighth, Portales came back with two to win it.

Shelbi Walker's RBI single tied it, then Devyn Lopez came up to the plate and drove in the winning run with a blooper over the pitcher's head.

Lopez finished 2-for-4 in the game, while Analicia Tapia also went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

"I'm pleased with the fact they never gave up," Crowley said. "That's a huge game for our opener. It just shows us coaches that these kids aren't going to give up, and we aren't going to give up on them."

Game 2 was not as kind to Portales, as the Lady Cardinals (3-4) keyed in on the pitching and their bats came to life. Robertson ended game with 14 hits, while Portales committed four errors.


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