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


The Staff of The News 

Busy weekend

 

April 3, 2019

Kevin Wilson

Portales junior Marijlee Ruiz slides into home during Portales' 11-2 win over Clovis in March. The two teams will face off again Thursday in Portales.

RIO RANCHO - Clovis' softball team could have done a lot worse.

The Lady Wildcats entered last week's Rio Rancho Tournament with a 3-2 record and escaped at 5-5, winning two of the five games they played. They're evolving as a team, right around where their .500 record says they are.

One thing that has to evolve faster is Clovis' proclivity to make errors - lots and lots of them. In their last tournament game on Saturday afternoon, the Lady 'Cats played error-free. But in the previous four, they committed a total of 24 errors. Ouch.

"Oh yeah," Clovis head coach Emery Sierra said, "we've got to minimize the errors."

Which they did in their tournament finale against Del Norte, but plenty of damage had been previously done. "We had plenty to make up for all weekend," Sierra said.

The tournament didn't begin well for the Lady Wildcats who opened against Farmington on Thursday and found themselves on the unfortunate end of a 12-4 score.

Farmington plated four in the top of the second, two in the third, two in the fourth, and with Clovis having mustered just two runs up to that point, the Lady Scorpions had an 8-2 lead by midway through the fourth inning.

Clovis didn't too terribly in the hit department, notching 10 while Farmington recorded 11. But the Lady Wildcats made seven errors in the game, Farmington just one, helping the Scorpions to the eight-run victory.

Heartbreaker

Down 3-0 and 6-2 in their second tournament game against Belen, the Lady Wildcats bounced back.

They even held the lead from the top of the fifth inning to the top of the seventh. Thanks to four runs in the fifth on a Kohana Pousson grand slam, one in the sixth and three in the seventh, Clovis built a 10-6 lead.

But Clovis miscues and timely Belen hits in the bottom of the seventh inning sent the Lady Wildcats to an 11-10 loss, making it a heartbreaker for the purple and white.

"Yes, it was," Sierra said. "We had a couple errors, they scratched runs across. It's hard to leave it on the field like that."

Clovis played again Friday, this time against Capital, and notched its first tournament victory while ending an overall four-game losing streak by prevailing 13-8.

Kassadie Tindle pitched a complete game for the Lady Wildcats, earning her first victory of the season.

Saturday morning against West Las Vegas, the Lady 'Cats rallied from a 4-0 deficit to forge a 4-all tie, but didn't score again and went on to lose 7-4.

But they closed out the weekend's action Saturday with a 19-0 thrashing of Del Norte in a game that lasted only three innings.

Aside from playing error-free, the Lady Wildcats got a three-inning no-hitter from Tindle (2-0) and pounded out 11 hits of their own.

When it was over, Clovis had evened out its record.

"I wish it was a lot better, but we're .500 right now," Sierra said. "We don't want to be that but it is what it is. It's not bad; I mean, it's better than losing all five. We got two out of five."

Rough road for Rams

Portales' softball team also visited Rio Rancho this weekend. In the Lady Rams' case it was the Kristin Griego Tournament at Cleveland and Rio Rancho High Schools.

And things didn't go so well for Portales.

The tournament started off well enough for the Rams on Thursday, as they walloped Cleveland JV 19-0 in a game abbreviated to four innings. Portales improved to 4-1 on the season by banging out 19 hits and committing just one error.

Wendy Baeza and Adri Garcia combined on the one-hit shutout.

Then came two Fridays game, which Portales lost in different fashion - a 13-4 rout and a tight 3-0 contest. Though each team had five hits in the latter game, the Lady Rams committed three errors while Roswell made none.

Portales began Saturday's action with a 21-8 loss to Bernalillo that included a whopping nine errors for the Lady Rams.

In the Rams' final game of the weekend, played later on Saturday, they jumped out to a 5-0 lead after one-half inning and 7-1 by the middle of the second.

But Goddard scored nine in the bottom of the third inning and went on to squeak by 10-8.

"We had way too many errors to win games," Portales head coach Nathan Dodge. "We had a total of 19 errors in five games."

Which resulted in pitching workhorse Baeza to go 1-4 for the tournament, though she pitched much better than that indicates.

"Wendy's ERA is 3.80," Dodge said. "We're giving up too many unearned runs." She's averaging four runs a game, which is fine, we can live with that. We need work defensively big time. We've got to be solid defensively."

Rematch

Next up for Clovis and Portales will be a head-to-head clash Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Portales.

The teams just played in Clovis on March 21, with the Lady Rams winning 11-2. Thursday comes the rematch.

"If we can put the ball in play and make less errors, we expect a better game," Sierra said.

"I think they're going to be tough," Dodge said. "I think they've improved quite a bit and we're not playing well right now. We've got to figure it out and play defense. The drill we're doing this week, I hope it helps us. We'll see on Thursday."

 
 

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