Good weather for the annual Jim Pierce baseball and Roseanne Noedel softball tournaments at St. Michael's over the next three days
With new head coach Augie Ruiz, the Horsemen are home after eight starts on the road, Lady Horsemen have made just one start under new head coach Billy Perdue
By ARNIE LESHIN
It's so early, the Raton softball team has yet to play a game. Meanwhile, at St. Michael's, hardball and yellow ball will be played, with Bernalillo, Espanola Valley and Santa Fe High entered in both the annual Jim Pearce Memorial baseball tournament and the new Roseanne Noedel Memorial softball tournament that starts today.
It's those three-straight days when texting will be done from field to field in order to follow the games that are also scheduled for the same starts. It's a short walk across the campus from the baseball diamond to the softball field, with the football field in between.
The Demons (2-5) and Demonettes (5-3) get to play early on in both. Both are slated for 9 a.m. starts, with Santa Fe High taking on Espanola Valley (2-3) in softball and Bernalillo (5-4) in baseball.
The baseball games that follow match the Sundevils (1-4) against Taos (1-2) at 11:15 a.m., the Horsemen (5-3) versus Raton (2-1) at 1:3r0 p.m., and at 4 p.m., Cobre (2-3) meeting up with Pojoaque Valley (2-4).
The softball contests are set up the same way. At 11:20 a.m., it's Bernalillo (3-3) going against Moriarty (3-2), with Raton (0-0) opening its season versus Albuquerque Academy (1-5), and the host Lady Horsemen (0-1) meeting up with the Pintos, who will be playing twice opening day in the 7-school field.
For St. Michael's baseball under first-year head coach Augustine Ruiz, it's finally home, sweet home after playing on the road before this. But at least, Ruiz, the former head coach at Pecos, has gotten a good look at his new squad.
Santa Fe High is the lone 6A school in the field. So is Espanola in 5A. Five, St. Michael's, Pojoaque, Cobre, Bernalillo and Taos are out of 4A, and Raton in 1-3A. It's so early, there's no way to pick a favorite here, with the semifinals on Friday and finals on Saturday.
In both sports, they will be playing for first place, third, fifth and seventh.
This is the second year of the annual softball tournament that was once the Lady Horsemen tourney under the late Noedel, who passed away from kidney cancer on Feb. 13, 2016.
A St. Michael's 1973 graduate, Noedel and her brother, Ron, spent decades as co-head coaches, 28 years to be exact with this program. Last year, Ron was the interim head coach with former team assistant Deborah Garcia, and in most every game, the other schools would respond with tributes to the long-time coach, who with Ron, got the program to the state final twice. It lost both times in the championship, but has been the only Northern New Mexico school to get that far.
While Ruiz steps in for the baseball team, Billy Perdue now has the reigns of the softball program.
One good thing, the weather is super for this tournament, with temperatures expected to rise to 70 degrees these three days.