Cavegirls sweep Clovis

Clovis sophomore Cynthia Lucio is tagged out at home by Carlsbad’s Tianna Rodriguez during the first game of a double header Friday at the Lady Wildcat Softball Complex in Clovis. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth

By John Eisel: CNJ sports writer

Senior Annie Tweedy barreled up the baseline, trying to beat out a ball that ricocheted off Carlsbad pitcher Jocelyn Armendariz.

Clovis had mounted a small comeback and was down 16-9 in the bottom of the sixth and battering Armendariz.

With senior Laura Wood on second with two outs, Tweedy dove into the bag, tumbling head and shoulder first over the base. She was out by two steps. Chalk and dirt covered her jersey but she walked non-chalantly off the field to put on her catching gear.

Clovis scored another two runs in the bottom of the seventh but still lost the nightcap of Friday’s doubleheader, 16-11.

“We gave them a chance to stay in the ball game,” Carlsbad coach Shaun Standard said. “When you give a good team a chance to stay in, they usually do.”

The win was the middle of a three-game sweep at the Lady Wildcat Softball Complex in the opening series of District 4-5A play for both teams. Carlsbad won Friday’s opener 8-0 and the finale on Saturday 11-5.

Tweedy’s slide was an example of the team’s attitude, according to Clovis coach Brandi Thomas.

“We don’t give up,” she said. “That’s how it is.”

Thomas said the team takes a lot of its attitude and preparation from Tweedy and fellow seniors Wood and Julie Surna. They’ve been “mini-coaches,” giving pointers, keeping the younger players mentally ready as more than half of Clovis’ roster are underclassmen.

“She leads us,” sophomore Jordan Garrett said of Tweedy. “She picks us up when we’re down. She’s just good all-around. It’s going to be tough without her next year.”

Carlsbad (11-3, 3-0) battered Clovis pitching for 43 hits. Many were line drives and shots to the fence. Thomas said Carlsbad was the best-hitting team she’s seen this season.

Caarlsbad third baseman Amanda Laird went 7-for-12 in the three games, scoring five runs and driving in five.

Despite being shut out in the first game, Clovis’ 16 combined runs were the most they had scored against Carlsbad in a series, which Thomas said is a big confidence boost for her team. Clovis (10-7, 0-3) has not beaten Carlsbad in eight years of playing softball.

Clovis had contributions from upper and underclassmen.

Garrett had two hits in the opening game, then followed it up with a triple and double in the nightcap of the doubleheader while scoring twice. Fellow sophomore Renae Gallegos jump-started Clovis’ comeback in the second game with her first career home run.

Wood went 6-for-8 in the final two games, including two doubles and a triple on Saturday.

In the opening game, Standard said Cavegirl pitcher Janae Owen kept Clovis off-balance by hitting spots and changing speeds.

Defense betrayed Surna in the first game and Tweedy in the third game with a combined 15 errors, which led to 10 unearned runs.

Clovis also suffered from mental lapses on the bases and with defensive assignments.

“They’re young and they’re going to learn from it,” Thomas said.

In Friday’s opener, Carlsbad scored six runs before the third inning off Surna.

“She settled down and went after them,” Thomas said of Surna.

On Saturday Tweedy pitched her first career complete game, not letting the errors get to her.

“She held herself well and hit her spots and pitched very well,” Thomas said. “Mental toughness is about that kid.”