The McCurdy Charter School softball team celebrates after sweeping a doubleheader against Jemez Valley High School 13-6, 24-7 to win the District 2/5-Class A-2A championship. McCurdy earns a trip to the Class A-2A state softball tournament May 15-17 in Rio Rancho and Albuquerque. The Bobcats were undefeated 6-0 in district play.
By George Morse
The McCurdy Charter School softball team clinched the District 2/5-Class A/2A championship with a 13-6, 24-7 sweep of a doubleheader against Jemez Valley High School April 30 at McCurdy. The Lady Bobcats finished the season undefeated in district play with a 6-0 record. By winning the district championship, McCurdy has earned a trip to the Class A/2A state softball tournament.
“This was our first goal,” McCurdy Coach Christian Lopez said. “Bring the district championship back here.”
In the first game, all the action took place in the first three innings. Jemez Valley got two runs in the top of the first inning. McCurdy came back to score four runs in the bottom of the first inning. After the Lady Warriors failed to score in the top of the second inning, the Bobcats sent 10 batters to the plate and scored eight runs in the bottom of the second inning. McCurdy benefitted from ground balls that went right through infielder’s gloves. Gracie Valencia had one of her three triples in the inning. Pitcher and leadoff hitter Jeneva Serrano had a double with the bases loaded that scored three runs, but she was thrown out at third base trying to stretch it into a triple to end the inning. McCurdy took a 12-2 lead.
Jemez Valley came up with four runs in the top of the third inning, but Serrano shut them down after that. McCurdy added just one more run in the fifth inning after Valencia stroked her third triple of the game and scored on a wild pitch. In the top of the seventh inning with McCurdy leading 13-6, the Warriors’ Lyndsey Tosa led off with a triple, but she died at third when the Bobcats turned a 6-3 double play started by shortstop Olivia Cantrell.
McCurdy had 10 hits and stole 14 bases during the game. Serrano had 10 strikeouts for the Bobcats.
The Warriors had suited up just nine players for the game and small injuries that they played with had some players like Tosa limping while playing. The wear and tear started to show in the second game. McCurdy was leading 4-3 after three innings when the Bobcats’ bats exploded in the top of the fourth inning. The Bobcats sent 17 batters to the plate and scored 14 runs. McCurdy was now hitting line drives and deep fly balls over outfielders’ heads. Shantell Chavez had an inside-the-park home run. Laura Salas and Alissa Maestas stroked triples and neither Tosa nor Annadria Gauchupin could stop the Bobcats on the mound. McCurdy took an 18-4 lead.
The Warriors, who were the home team for the second game of the doubleheader, scored just one run in the bottom of the fourth inning. McCurdy added six more runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a commanding 24-4 lead. Jemez Valley could manage just three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. The game ended under the 10-run mercy rule in a 24-7 victory for the Bobcats.
McCurdy pounded out 23 hits and stole 26 bases. Maestas, Serrano and Valencia each finished with four hits. Serrano was the winning pitcher in both games.
The Bobcats finished the season with a 9-6 record overall. The Bobcats will find out May 12 where they will be seeded in the Class A-2A state softball tournament. The first day of the Class A-2A tournament will begin May 15 at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho. Now that the first goal has been accomplished, the next goal for McCurdy will be to win as many games as they can at state.
“This is one team that when we’re behind, they don’t quit,” Coach Lopez said. “They don’t give up. They just battle. They fight. They get it done. We had to deal with injuries and suspensions this season. They just don’t give up. They really wanted this district championship.”
McCurdy's Jeneva Serrano was the winning pitcher in both games of McCurdy's doubleheader against Jemez Valley High Schhol April 30 at McCurdy. McCurdy's Gracie Valencia had three triples in the Lady Bobcats' 13-7 win over Jemez Valley in the first game of a doubleheader April 30 at McCurdy. McCurdy's Laila Rodriguez makes contact against the Jemez Valley Lady Warriors.