Long ride to Clovis Saturday results in double defeats for the Santa Fe High softball and baseball teams in District 2-6A doubleheaders
Demonettes lose one-run closer, Demons drop one-run opener to the Wildcats
By ARNIE LESHIN
After dropping the opener, 10-0, at previously winless Clovis Saturday, the Santa Fe High softball team made a genuine effort to gain a split, but it fell short in a 6-5 last-inning defeat.
These were the first victories for the Wildcats after losing their first 19 starts, while the Demonettes dropped to 7-12 overall and 0-6 in District 2-6A. They don't play again until Saturday's visit from Albuquerque Manzano in a doubleheader scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. starts.
As for the SFHS baseball team that also made the trip to Clovis for a DH, it, too, came away with a pair of setbacks, 5-4 and 8-4, to fall to 8-12 overall and 0-6 in district.
The Demons play host to non district neighbor St. Michael's Wednesday afternoon, and are then home to Manzano in a doubleheader Saturday, also with slated 11 and 1 starts.
The softball team fell in the opener in five innings when the 10-run mercy-rule was imposed. Clovis scored once in the first, five times in the second, and twice each in the third and fifth innings. Junior Celeste Chavez pitched the route.
But in the closer, the Demonettes trailed 1-0 after yielding a first-inning run, then took a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth, only to have the home team also score three times to go ahead 4-3.
Back came Santa Fe High with a pair of sixth inning runs, but the Wildcats tied it at 5-5 in their half of the frame, and pushed across the winning run in the seventh. Both teams had 13 hits, while the Demonettes played errorless ball and Clovis committed four errors.
Again, it was Chavez in the circle, and she also contributed three hits, scored twice and batted in two runs. It was the fourth one-run game for Santa Fe High, and it has split them. It was also its first shutout since losing the 15-0 opener to non district opponent Miyamura.
A sweep would have moved head coach Randy Montoya's team into a tie for fourth place in the 6-school district. Now it can only prepare for Manzano (9-6, 2-2) and the season-closer visit on April 29 from Albuquerque Eldorado (12-4, 2-2).
The Demons had a chance to grab the lead in the opener, but a line drive by senior Jacob Romero that headed into the gap in the outfield was instead turned into a diving catch.
In game two, the Wildcats (15-7, 4-2) came up with seven runs over the first two innings and never looked back.
Said Santa Fe High head coach Tony Martinez: "We had the opportunities to win the first game, but it was just a frustrating game. We had so many chances to win."
That they did. The Demons scored once in the second, but left two runners aboard. In the third, they stranded the bases but failed to dent the plate. Two miscues led to unearned runs that didn't help right-handed starting pitcher Romero, who surrendered only three earned runs in going the distance.
"The second game," Martinez said, "we had no excuses, and losing both games really hurt."
Santa Fe High junior Nathan Hield came up with five hits in the two games that included a triple and RBI in the opener. Senior Dominic Barela picked up a pair of hits in the first game and sophomore Manny Martinez singled and doubled.