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

Portales rallies to sweep Clovis

 

April 25, 2018

Eric Murray

Wildcats pitcher Anyssa Casaus goes into her windup in the first inning of Tuesday's doubleheader opener at Wheeler Park.

PORTALES - For the second time in four days, Portales softball pulled off a 17-run swing.

During Tuesday's doubleheader opener against Clovis, the Rams trailed 7-0 entering the second inning, tied it on a seven-spot and went on to win 18-8.

Portales (11-9) took the sweep, pulling a 17-7 win in the nightcap.

"It's just believing in ourselves and knowing that we can hit," Rams coach Nathan Dodge said of the first-game rally. "The girls get in there with confidence and start hitting the ball really hard. That's awesome. I'm glad we're not (overthinking) trying to figure out how to score runs, (and we) just get up there and hit."

Trailing 7-0, heading into the bottom of the second inning, Portales' (11-9) Raquel Moreno reached safely on a bunt, thanks to a throwing error. Following a Shelbi Walker walk, Alexis Garcia's double off of the right field fence scored Moreno to put the Rams on the board.

Clovis (2-20) then allowed a Sarah Lovato RBI single to left field, before a throwing error to home added another Rams run. A wild pitch and a Kim Hay single soon cut the gap to 7-5, and eventually, Portales added two more runs in the second to tie it up at 7-7.

The Rams then exploded for 11 runs in the third inning, led by an Abi Cameron RBI single and a Micaela Garcia two-run single up the middle. In all, Portales' 11-run inning brought 19 Rams to the plate, with eight hits, one walk and 10 total baserunners.

"I think we came out really strong, I think we came out and hit the ball really well. And then, we just kinda slacked off," Clovis coach Brandi Thomas explained. "(Portales) started playing the short game, and we kinda got a little tense with that.

"We just started making a couple mental errors, which carried over into our bats - we were kinda quiet there for a little bit. We just gotta take care of ourselves. (We) did a good job of hitting the ball, and I always tell them, 'We can control what we can control.'"

Prior to that, the Wildcats were on a roll in the first and second innings, as Anyssa Casaus had a two-run double to the right field gap to score Celeste Chavez and Skylar Schuette, giving the Wildcats an early 2-0 lead.

Marina Tapia's RBI double then extended the lead to 3-0, heading into the bottom of the first. In the second, Schuette had an RBI single, while Daisy Dodge' flyball to center field wasn't reeled in by Hay, bringing in two more runs to increase the lead to 6-0.

Eric Murray

Portales' Devyn Lopez beats a throw to third base as Clovis third baseman Marina Tapia stretches for the throw in Tuesday's first game. The Rams won 18-8, then took the second game 17-7.

As for the second game, Clovis built another early lead, going ahead, 3-0, after the top of the first inning. Portales quickly countered with three runs in the bottom of the inning, before Hay's two-run bloop single to center field gave the Rams a 5-3 lead in the second inning.

Alexis Garcia then blasted a two-run homer over the right field fence to extend the lead to 8-4 in the third, and from there, Portales managed to pull away. Hay finished 3-for-4 with 6 RBIs, while Garcia was 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs.

While Portales and Clovis will soon return to their respective district action, later this week, Tuesday provided an opportunity to see different pitching than both have seen all year, and in a situation where district standings stay unchanged no matter what.

"The advantage is not so much pressure," Dodge said. "You get out there and play. Some of our girls were in a slump, and kinda breaking out of that slump and getting going again was good."

 

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