With the series at stake, the South All-Stars managed just three hits against Cibola ace Melissa Martinez. They made them count.
The South got runs through a combination of walks and three extra-base hits Saturday, claiming a 4-1 victory in the third game of the Class 4A/5A North-South All-Star series at Lady Wildcat Complex.
The win gave the South a 15-7 lead in the overall series, after the teams split Friday’s doubleheader.
Rani Falkenberry of Artesia and reliever Allie Carrigan of Carlsbad scattered five hits over seven innings, and three of the South’s run-scorers reached via walks.
“I was pleased with their approach,” said Artesia’s Scott Simer, who coached the South to its second-straight series win. “They didn’t chase a lot out of the zone. They waited on something they could hit.”
Case in point: South first baseman Raven Torres. The Mayfield High grad went 1-for-1 Saturday, but drew three walks. And her one hit was a fifth-inning triple to drive in Carlsbad’s Sandra Mager for the eventual game-winning run.
“You have to do what you have to do,” said Torres, who drew 23 pitches from Martinez in her four plate appearances. “That’s why we’re here.”
The South struck first, with Deming outfielder Tiffany Gonzales drawing a walk, then scoring off an overthrow on a double from Onate’s Santana Martinez.
The North trailed 3-0 after Torres scored off a Kristi Covarrubia double in the fifth, but struck back in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double from Piedra Vista’s Chanel Ewing.
In the top of the seventh, the South got an insurance run by loading the bases against Martinez, and a run scored on an illegal pitch by reliever Tristin Moone of Piedra Vista.
Carrigan allowed a pair of base hits in the seventh, but stranded them both by getting Ewing to fly out to center to end the game. She gave up one run in her two games pitched, including Friday’s 10-0 nightcap.
North coach Gene Victor, whose team took a 10-4 victory Friday night to open the series, said his squad didn’t take advantage of its scoring chances.
“When we hit it, we hit it right at them,” Victor said. “(The South) deserved to win, no excuses.”
Nicole Anaya, who represented Clovis for the South, went 0-for-2.