Pojoaque Softball Sweeps Capital High

Pojoaque’s Analisa Lovato was the winning pitcher in the Elkettes 10-7 win over Capital High School March 23 at Pojoaque in the first game of a doubleheader. Lovato slugged a three-run homer in the first inning. The Elkettes won the second game 15-3. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Pojoaque Softball Sweeps Capital High

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

Pojoaque Valley High School junior Analisa Lovato had herself quite a day against Capital High School March 23 at Pojoaque. The Elkettes swept the Lady Jaguars 10-7, 15-3 in a doubleheader. Lovato not only picked up the victory in the opening as Pojoaque’s starting pitcher, she helped herself at the plate. Lovato slugged a three-run home run in the first inning, part of a seven-run outburst that gave the Elkettes a quick 7-0 lead.

 The score remained unchanged through the third inning as Lovato was in control on the mound. In the fourth inning, the Elkettes added two more on an RBI-double by Kaylene Jacquez. That made the score 9-0. The Elkettes were one run away from ending the game under the 10-run mercy rule, which goes into effect in the fifth inning.

The Elkettes got their 10th run in the bottom of the sixth inning. However, Capital had finally scored a run in the top of the sixth. The score was 10-1 and the game would have to go to the seventh and final inning.

Pojoaque nearly paid the price of not putting Capital away when they had the chance. The weather had turned sharply colder. A stiff wind was blowing and a light rain was falling. Lovato had been cruising along, but now she appeared uncomfortable on the mound. The wet weather made it hard for her to grip the ball.

Lovato walked five batters, hit two more and gave up two hits. The score was now 10-7 and the tying run was at third base. Pojoaque Coach Ricky DeHerrera finally went to the mound and replaced Lovato with Michaela Martinez. Martinez throws the ball significantly slower than Lovato. The move paid off, as the next Capital batter struck out on three straight pitches, swinging well in front of the slower pitches from Martinez. The Elkettes hung on for a 10-7 victory.

Pojoaque learned their lesson and put Capital away in the second game. Pojoaque scored three runs in the first inning, two runs in the second inning and seven runs in the third inning. Lovato continued her hot hitting, stroking a pair of triples, one of which ended with her scooting home after an error in the outfield. The Elkettes led 12-3 after three innings.

In the fourth inning with two Pojoaque runners on base, Lovato lofted a deep fly ball that looked like it might be another over-the-fence home run, but ended up being dropped by the left fielder. Not watching the ball and just running as hard as she could around the bases, Lovato ended up crossing the plate again.

“I didn’t see the ball hit the ground,” Lovato said. “I just heard someone say ‘It’s on the ground’ and I just kept running.”

That made the score 15-3 after four innings. Martinez, who had started on the mound in the second game, held Capital scoreless in the top of the fifth inning to preserve the mercy-rule victory.

Pojoaque improved to 3-6 on the season. The Elkettes began play in District 2-4A Tuesday at Taos.