Cold Weather, Crazy Endings Puctuate Softball Season

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Pojoaque's Rebecca Chavez was the winning pitcher in both games of the Elkettes 14-3, 21-1 sweep of a doubleheader against Moriarty High School April 12 at Pojoaque. Pojoaque is in first place in District 2-4A with a 5-0 record.


By George Morse

Winter Weather, Crazy Endings Punctuate Softball Season.

During a week when winter decided to make a return to New Mexico, the softball season took some strange turns.

One team that took advantage of the conditions and strengthened its hold on first place in their district was Pojoaque Valley High School. Playing a doubleheader that was originally scheduled for April 13 but moved up a day earlier to April 12 due to an unfavorable future weather forecast, the Elkettes swept Moriarty High School 14-3 and 21-1 to remain in first place in District 2-4A with a 5-0 record.

The Elkettes won the first game of the doubleheader in five innings under the 10-run mercy rule, which goes into effect after five innings. Pojoaque leadoff hitter Anissa Herrera drove in the winning runs with a triple in the bottom of the fifth inning. In the second game, Pojoaque scored 11 runs in the first inning and 10 runs in the second inning to take a 21-0 lead. Moriarty scored one run in the top of the third inning on Gabby Aceves’ home run, but couldn’t get another. Pojoaque won under the 20-run mercy rule, which goes into effect after three innings.

The Elkettes are riding an eight-game winning streak and have improved to 9-5 on the season after a 1-5 start.

“Our defense has tightened up and our sticks are coming around,” Pojoaque Coach Chris Ortiz said. “We’re having fun and just playing softball. I told the team I’m committed to you and to just keep having fun and keep on trucking. One game at a time.”

The Elkettes are now alone in first place in District 2-4A after Los Alamos High School suffered a shocking upset, losing to Taos High School  5-4, 8-3 in a doubleheader April 13 in Taos. The Lady Tigers had not won a district game and were just 2-13 overall before surprising the Lady Hilltoppers. Los Alamos fell to 2-2 in District 2-4A.

Los Alamos and Pojoaque square off in a key District 2-4A game Tuesday at Los Alamos.

Espanola Valley High School didn’t improve its District 2-4A standing with a resounding sweep of a doubleheader 17-1, 19-8 against Albuquerque Academy April 13 in Albuquerque. The Lady Chargers went most of both games without pitcher Alix Hamon. Because Academy was a non-district opponent, the Lady Sundevils remain tied with Los Alamos for second place with a 2-2 record, but improved to 11-7 overall. The sweep of the Lady Chargers should give the Sundevils some momentum when they return to District 2-4A competition Tuesday hosting Taos at Espanola.

In the wildest game last week McCurdy Charter School survived and took a 26-25 victory over Pecos High School April 11 at McCurdy. The game was the first game of a scheduled doubleheader. McCurdy was leading 13-1 going into the top of the fifth inning. Starting pitcher Jeneva Serrano had injured her shoulder at the end of the fourth inning and was taken out of the game. McCurdy had no backup, with normal number two pitcher Haylee Valdez out with an injured knee. Sophomore Gracie Valencia was pressed into service.

Valencia gave it her best shot, but had trouble finding the strike zone. Pecos scored 12 runs in the top of the fifth to take a 13-12 lead. McCurdy came up with three runs to lead 16-13. The Lady Panthers added six runs in the top of the sixth inning The Lady Bobcats came up with eight runs to take a 24-19 lead heading into the seventh inning.

Pecos scored six runs to take a 25-24 lead. The Bobcats had to score two runs to win the game.

After the first batter grounded out, Valencia came to the plate. She hit a hard line drive that bounced off the shortstop’s glove and rolled into left field in foul territory. Valencia raced around the bases and made it all the way home for an inside-the-park home run. That tied the score at 25-25. The next batter, Allissa Maestas, stroked a double.

A throw to second base in an attempt to pick off Maestas went into center field. Maestas was able to race all the way home to score the winning run.

McCurdy is 6-6 on the season. The Bobcats are 3-0 in District 2/5-A/2A. It is unknown how much more Serrano will be able to pitch. The Bobcats face a tough nondistrict opponent in Pojoaque Valley Thursday at McCurdy. McCurdy has a key doubleheader April 23 against District 2/5 opponent Mora High School.

McCurdy sophomore Gracie Valencia had to take over on the mound in the fifth inning when McCurdy starting pitcher injured her shoulder. Valencia struggled on the mound, but ended up getting the win in McCurdy's 26-25 victory over Pecos High School April 11 at McCurdy. Valencia had an inside-the-park home run to  help the Bobcats get the win.