The Clovis High softball team had District 4-5A rival Carlsbad on the ropes Tuesday night, but couldn’t quite get the knockout punch.
The Lady Wildcats, beaten 11-1 and 15-3 in Carlsbad earlier this month, carried a 3-1 lead into the sixth inning this time before the Cavegirls rallied to take a 5-3 victory.
Mary Jo Granger hit a two-run single to tie the score in the sixth inning, and Carlsbad took the lead later in the frame on a sacrifice fly by winning pitcher Allie Carrigan. The Cavegirls (16-4, 5-0 district) added an insurance run in the seventh on Andrea Bundia’s run-scoring single.
“We played so much better tonight,” Lady Cats coach Brandi Thomas said. “We had a sit-down talk last night, and we came out and were very solid on defense tonight.”
Senior left-hander Adrianna Aguilar blanked the Cavegirls for four innings. Aguilar scored the game’s first run in the third when Carlsbad misplayed a grounder by Brittany Mascarenas.
Carlsbad tied it in the fifth on a run-scoring single by Lizzy Castro, but Clovis responded with Vanessa Gallegos’ two-run single in the bottom of the inning.
Carrigan went 4 2/3 innings before being relieved by Adrianna Vargas, who worked 1 1/3 innings to get the win. Carrigan came back in the seventh to finish off the game.
Aguilar hurled a complete game for the Lady Cats (6-13, 1-3), walking two and striking out three.
Bundia went 3-for-4 and Carrigan 2-for-3 for the Cavegirls, who outhit Clovis 13-10. Aguilar, Cassie Nelson and Nicole Anaya each had two hits for the Lady Cats.
Thomas was disappointed to lose, but not frustrated.
“I can’t knock it,” she said. “It’s taken us a while to come around, but we’ve finally come full circle.”
Clovis returns to action on Saturday with a 1 p.m. district twin bill at Hobbs.