After falling 4-0 in the first game, the Portales Lady Rams (9-4) barreled back with an 8-1 victory in the nightcap of a doubleheader with Raton at the PHS softball field.
Portales coach Robbie Crowley said she thought maybe her team came into the first game intimidated by the higher-ranked Lady Tigers after Raton swept Roswell High in a doubleheader on Friday in Portales.
“I thought we competed with them well (in the first game),” Crowley said. “We just didn’t step into the box with confidence.
“These girls need to know they’re hitting the ball well right now.”
Except for a spate of three errors that led to three runs in the third inning, Portales (9-4) held Raton in check all day.
“I told them between games that I was more disappointed in that loss than any of the season,” Crowley said. “They truly responded to that. That’s the sign of a winner, to say, ‘Hey, I want to be the one in the box.’”
Freshman Simone Laurenz got the party started with a lead-off hit in the first inning of the second game. Junior Cynthia Armijo singled to score Laurenz and senior Gabby Garcia, the first two of four RBIs for her.
Armijo went 3-for-4 at the plate, as Laurenz.
Simone’s older sister, Kelsey Laurenz, hit a sacrifice fly to left to score junior Sorina Flores and make it 3-0.
“I’m happy that we all played as a team and came together in the second game,” Armijo said. “It started out rough in the first game, but we realized that the stats didn’t really matter. When we started playing for fun, it all fell in place.”
Portales got another run in the second and led 4-0 when Raton’s bats came to life in the fifth. With two runners in scoring position, Portales’ defense held on and finished the inning with a diving catch by right fielder Kaci Terry to take the wind out of the Lady Tigers’ sails.
Portales added four runs in its half of the sixth, sparked by doubles from Simone Laurenz and Armijo and a single from junior Danae Garza.
Raton overcame the shutout when sophomore Brylee Medina scored on a sacrifice fly.
Kelsey Laurenz went the distance in the circle in both games. She struck out six and walked one in the opener, allowing three hits, and permitted five hits with one walk and one strikeout in the second game.