Lady Sundevils Bounce Back, Beat Lady Jaguars 14-0

by Staff Reporter / Apr 07, 2018 / 0 comments
The Española Valley High School softball team celebrates after their 14-0 victory over Capital High School April 4 in Española. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Lady Sundevils Bounce Back, Beat Lady Jaguars 14-0

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

Coming off of a disappointing 11-7 loss April 2 to local rival Pojoaque Valley High School, the Española Valley High School softball team looked to have their hands full against Capital High School April 4 at Española. The Lady Jaguars were 9-2 on the season and had beaten that same Pojoaque Valley team decisively twice this season. Capital was coming off a sweep of Del Norte in a District 2-5A doubleheader and were 2-0 in District 2-5A.

It looked on paper like the Sundevils were the underdogs.

As the saying goes “That’s why they play the game.” It was Española that dominated Capital. The Sundevils shut out the Jaguars 14-0 and claimed victory after five innings under the 10-run mercy rule. Despite a less than impressive 4-11 record overall, Española is now the only team remaining in District 2-5A with an undefeated (2-0) record and are alone in first place.

“They came to play today,” Española Coach Robbie Garcia said. “We came out hitting and we came out focused. When you work harder you can do something like we did today.”

The Sundevils wasted no time jumping on the Jaguars. Española put four runs on the board in the first inning to take a 4-0 lead. After a scoreless second inning, the Sundevils exploded for eight runs as Capital pitcher Arianna Almeida had trouble finding the strike zone and when she did Española was stroking base hits. Española’s final runs of the inning came courtesy of four straight walks by Almeida. After three innings, Española was rolling 12-0 and a confident Autumn Vigil was taking care of business on the mound.

Española pitcher Autumn Vigil shut out Capital High School in Española’s 14-0 victory over the Lady Jaguars April 4 in Española. The Lady Sundevils are 2-0 in District 2-5A. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Española added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and came within one run of ending the game there under the 15-run mercy rule. It only prolonged the inevitable, as the Jaguars went down 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth inning. Vigil struck out the final batter to end the game.

Española’s tough pre-district schedule has contributed to their losing overall record, but may have helped them now that they have begun District 2-5A competition.

“That probably prepared us for today,” Coach Garcia said.

Española’s best and perhaps only chance of advancing to the Class 5A state softball tournament is to win the District 2-5A championship.

“The seniors are beginning to realize that this is their last season and they need to make the most of it,” Coach Garcia said.

The loss to Pojoaque was something that was hard to swallow for Española and may have been one reason the Sundevils came out strong against Capital.

“It makes you push harder, definitely,” senior Kaitlynn Madrid said. “We wanted to win so badly today. That’s what we did today.”

Española faces arch rival Los Alamos Saturday in a doubleheader at Overlook Park in White Rock in District 2-5A competition. The Sundevils lost to Los Alamos in a heartbreaker 10-9 in a game that decided the District 2-5A championship last season. Los Alamos scored the winning runs in the bottom of the seventh inning after Española had taken a 9-7 lead on Alexia Garcia’s two-run homer.

Garcia, now a senior, wants to finish her high school career in a different fashion.

“I love my team,” she said. “We have great chemistry and we’re not quitters. We can do it. We have to stick together and go with this momentum.”

Coach Garcia echoed those sentiments when he spoke to the team after the win over Capital.

“We can do this,” he said.