Clovis High’s softball team battled traditional Class 4A power Artesia into extra innings in Tuesday’s opener at Lady Wildcat Complex. Then the wheels came off.
Artesia broke a 3-3 tie with 11 runs on 10 hits in the top of the eighth for a 14-5 win over the Lady Wildcats. The Lady Bulldogs (6-1) then got a two-hit shutout from senior Rani Faulkenberry in the nightcap and cruised to an 11-0 win.
Faulkenberry pitched both ends of the doubleheader, as did CHS senior left-hander Adrianna Aguilar.
The Lady Cats broke on top in the third inning in the opener when Charlotte Varney reached on an error and scored on a triple by Kim Anaya, who came home with a second run on a wild pitch.
Artesia promptly tied it in the top of the fourth, but Stefanee Ricketson’s RBI double off the center field fence gave Clovis (3-4) the lead back in the bottom half. The Lady Bulldogs scored again in the fifth, setting the stage for extra innings.
The Lady Cats never recovered from Artesia’s big eighth inning.
“We played a very good first game until the last inning,” Lady Cats coach Brandi Thomas said. “The second game we came out with no intensity.”
Faulkenberry walked two and struck out 14 in the nightcap. The only hits against her were singles by Jasiman Dykes and Francesca Cabrera.
The Lady Cats are in action this weekend in a 16-team tournament at Las Cruces. They will play twice each day, beginning with a 1 p.m. contest on Friday against Mayfield.