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

Rams win pair to open softball tournament


May 10, 2018

RIO RANCHO — The Portales Rams no-hit their first opponent, and got outhit by their second opponent.

All that mattered to the Rams on the first day of the Class 4A state softball tournament was they won both on Wednesday — 18-0 over East Mountain and 2-1 over Cobre.

Portales (19-9) moves on to an 8:30 a.m. game against second-seeded Bernalillo at the Rio Rancho softball complex.

The sixth-seeded Rams had little trouble against No. 11 East Mountain in what amounted to a play-in for the eight-team, double-elimination tournament.

Wendy Baeza pitched all 10 innings for Portales, with an abbreviated no-hitter against the Timberwolves followed by an outdueling of Cobre ace Jadin Piacencio.

Portales scored 11 in the first and pounded out 10 hits in the opener, as senior Devyn Lopez led the attack by going 3-for-3 with a homer, a double and four RBIs.

"I think in that game, Wendy threw 31 pitches," Portales coach Nathan Dodge said. "That's hardly anything. It's also good to get the first-game jitters out of the way. I think having the big win where we opened up, especially with the 11 in the first, helped us get going."

Portales only managed four hits against the third-seeded Indians, but strung enough offense together with a two-run sixth. Micaela Garcia had an RBI-double, then came home herself when the defense mishandled a Nicole Laurenz grounder.

"It was kind of a slow roller," Dodge said. "(Micaela) ran right past and kind of blocked (the infielder's) view, and the ball went into the outfield. It's tough, but you pretty much have to score an error there.

"We just hit at the right time. You kind of get lucky sometimes. You get somebody at second, you get a base knock. They get seven hits to our four, but we hit at the right time."

The Indians, who fell to 18-8, stayed alive by blanking West Las Vegas 13-0 in the consolation bracket first round.

Portales can reach the Friday championship three ways:

• Beat Bernalillo, then beat the Silver-Robertson winner in a 12:30 p.m. matchup

• Beat Bernalillo, lose to the Silver-Robertson winner, then win the consolation bracket title game at 4:30 p.m.

• Lose to Bernalillo, but win three straight in the consolation bracket — starting with a 10:30 a.m. game against Shiprock.

"They've got a really good pitcher like Cobre," Dodge said. "I think it will be really similar. We've got to generate some hits, some runs, maybe get lucky at the right time again.


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