After losing the first game of the annual Class 4A-5A softball series, the South players were looking at the real possibility of playing the finale today for mere bragging rights. That would’ve happened had the North swept the doubleheader Friday night at the Lady Wildcat Softball Field.
But the South averted a twinbill sweep by shutting out the North 10-0 in the second game. In the opener of the senior all-stars contest, the North cruised to a 10-4 victory.
“Well, we really didn’t want to have to play for fun tomorrow. We wanted to come out here and win,” said Carlsbad’s Allie Carrigan, who hurled the shutout in the nightcap. “We didn’t want to lose two in a row — it pumped us up a lot.”
The North recovered from a 3-0 early deficit to claim the first contest.
In the bottom of the second, four hits — including doubles by Carlsbad’s Sandra Mager and Roswell’s Raquel Grajeda — staked the southerners to the three-run advantage.
But entering the top of the fifth still down 3-2, the North erupted for six runs. The inning started with infield hits by Farmington’s Marissa Wallace and Aztec’s Leah Becker. Wallace scored on a passed ball to tie the game and Latainna Eltsosie of Cibola stroked a two-run single to left to give the North its first lead of the contest.
Cibola standout Missy Martinez, who led the Cougars to three straight Class 5A championships, started the game for the North. It was Piedra Vista’s Tristan Moone, however, who tossed three shutout innings in the middle of the opener for the victory.
In the second game, though, Moone became a victim of small-ball by the South.
The opening batter of the nightcap, Mayfield’s Brianna Rodriguez, had a long at-bat against Moone and eventually walked. Rodriguez would then single in the second to drive in the first run and, in the fourth, she laid down a perfect bunt that led to another score.
That kind of effort typified the South’s newfound approach.
“We chased a lot in the first game,” said South coach Scott Simer of Artesia. “We just talked in-between games and challenged the girls to just swing at good pitches.”
Meanwhile, Carrigan allowed only four hits before the game was halted after six innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
“I had a good time keeping the ball real low in order to get ground balls,” Carrigan said.
Clovis infielder Nicole Anaya, who started the second game nightcap, went 0-for-3 in the doubleheader.
North 10, South 4
North 002 061 1 — 10 11 0
South 030 001 0 — 4 8 1
Missy Martinez (Cib), Tristan Moone (PV) (3), Leah Becker (Azt) (6) and Chanel Ewing (PV), Alicia Gabaldon (LL) (7). Rani Faulkenberry (Art), Raquel Grajeda (Ros) (5) and Sandra Mager (Carl). W — Moone. L — Faulkenberry. Leading Hitters: N, Marissa Wallace (Farm) 3-5 1RBI, Becker 3-5 2RBI, Cheyenne Crum (Cib) 2-4 1RBI; S, Grajeda 2-3 2B 3RBI, Raven Torrez (May) 1-2 2B, Mager 1-2 2B.
South 10, North 0
South 011 161 — 10 10 1
North 000 000 — 0 4 6
Allie Carrigan (Carl) and Shelby Trujillo (Alamo), Sandra Mager (Carl) (5). Tristan Moone (PV), Leah Becker (Azt) (5), Latainna Eltsosie (Cib) (5) and Chanel Ewing (PV), Alicia Gabaldon (LL) (5). W — Carrigan. — Moone. Leading Hitters: S, Tiffany Gonzales (Dem) 2-2 3B 2RBI, Brianna Rodriguez (May) 2-3 1RBI, Trujillo 1-2 1RBI; N, Marissa Wallace (Farm) 2-3, Jocelyn Salazar (Cib) 1-2, Eltsosie 1-3.