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

Big innings gives Dora first district softball win


April 11, 2018

Eric Murray

Dora starting pitcher Allie Luscombe throws warmup pitches before the start of Tuesday's contest against Tucumcari. Luscombe went the distance in a 17-8 Coyotes victory.

DORA — A wild 10-run fourth inning helped Dora earn its first district softball win of the year, after it defeated Tucumcari 17-8 on Tuesday afternoon.

The Coyotes scored all 10 of those fourth-inning runs with two outs, as 17 Dora hitters stepped to the plate in the inning in the District 5/6A contest in Class 1A-3A.

"The girls came out ready to hit," Coyotes coach Benney Tapia said. "They started off a two-out rally and ended up with a bunch of runs. That's what we needed, going forward."

Dora (4-4, 1-2), trailing 8-4 to start the bottom of the fourth, got a standing double from Allie Luscombe, before recording two quick outs. However, no one could anticipate what would come next.

A single from Kirsten Tapia, followed by doubles from Jaedin Paxton and Haileah Gramzow, and then finally a single from Dixie Skelley, all led to RBIs, tying the game up at 8-8. A Rattler error at third base soon scored two more runs, before a misplayed ball at first base gave Dora an 11th run.

Two-run hits from Brittaney Valladares and Paxton, plus an RBI single by Gramzow, capped off the 10-run inning. In all, Dora had 10 hits result from the 17 Coyote batters, including four extra-base hits.

"Dora's always a real good hitting team. That's what has cost us all year is just that one inning," Rattlers interim coach C.J. Oglesby said. "We have bad errors in one inning, and it costs us. But, we're in every game, we're playing tough through every game. We're hitting the ball real well, a lot of young players — just three seniors. All in all, they're progressing."

In the early going, it was Dora who dealt with some dysfunction. Three first-inning Coyote errors brought home Erica Vasquez, Jasmine Jones and Jenna Garcia, quickly giving Tucumcari a 3-0 cushion, before the Rattlers capped off the inning with a fourth run.

Dora then scored two runs in the first, along with one apiece in the second and third innings to knot it up at 4-4. The Rattlers responded with four runs in the top of the fourth.

Kyeli Collins' shallow bloop to center field broke the tie, while Jones' two-run double to the center field fence increased the lead to 7-4. Kalani French's short roller down the first-base line put the Rattlers ahead by four runs.

"Just focusing more on defense," Oglesby said of Tucumcari's growth, moving forward. "We're starting to hit the ball, coming on real hard with the hitting. I just think we need to score more runs, put more runs on the board. We leave a lot of runners on, and that's a big part of it, too. It's just up from here with these girls."

The Rattlers (4-5, 3-3) will next face Logan on Friday — but not before the Coyotes get a crack at the Longhorns at home Thursday afternoon. For Tapia's players, the ability to correct the first-inning woes and regain their composure was key in Tuesday's win, but in a tough district, a 1-2 mark to start the schedule won't cut it.

"We've been focusing on errors, and that's been killing us here lately. But we did kind of nip it in the bud and we started going at it," Tapia said. "We just need to win some district games. We've got a bunch coming up."


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