Clovis High School’s Laura Wood is congratulated after scoring on a inside -the-park homerun by teammate Cynthia Lucio during the first game of a doubleheader against Cibola Friday at the Lady Wildcats Softball Complex. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)
By Dave Wagner
Late Friday night, after her team dropped a District 4-5A doubleheader to Cibola, first-year Clovis High softball coach Brandi Thomas had the look of someone who needed a break.
The Lady Wildcats were 10-4 in pre-district play, but fell to 1-7 in 4-5A competition with 7-6 and 10-3 losses to the Lady Cougars in breezy, chilly conditions at the Lady Wildcat Softball Complex.
Cibola (9-14, 4-7 district) scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning of the opener when, with one out and Callan Martinez at second, Kelly Waites bunted and knocked the ball out of the glove of CHS second baseman Anjelica Serna as she took the throw at first. The ball rolled into short right field, allowing Martinez to cross the plate.
Thomas was upset with the call, thinking Serna had the ball long enough for the out. Then in the bottom of the inning, Sonia Chavez led off with a triple but was thrown out trying to score on a wild pitch.
“In that situation, I’d send her again,” Thomas said. “That’s the first time I’ve seen a ball bounce off the wall right back to the catcher like that.”
Clovis led 1-0 and 3-2 early in the second game, but a two-out, two-run single by Cibola’s Naomi Montoya made it 7-3 in the top of the fifth and took the steam out of the Lady Cats.
“What can you say?” Thomas wondered. “When it rains, it pours.
“We’ve had a lot of tough luck this year. (Cibola) hit shots that hit holes tonight; we hit shots that were right at them.”
Veteran Cibola coach Gene Victor said he could commiserate with Thomas.
“They’re like us; they play well and then they have a bad inning or two,” Victor said. “I know what that feels like.
“Clovis is a good team. They’re young, and they’re a team that’s going to have to be reckoned with in the future.”
Clovis had an 11-6 advantage in hits in the opener as Laura Wood, Cynthia Lucio and Chavez were all 3-for-4, including a triple for each of them. But the Lady Cats were outhit 11-5 in the second game and contributed to their demise with seven errors.
Lucio drove in five runs in the twin bill, including all three of the Lady Cats’ second-game tallies with a sacrifice fly and a two-run double. Wood added two more hits in the nightcap to finish the day 5-for-7.
Despite the losses, Thomas said her team’s effort was not lacking.
“I’m very proud of the girls,” she said. “They don’t give up, and that’s the best thing about this team.”
Cibola 7, Clovis 6
Cibola 002 040 1 — 7 6 5
Clovis 103 002 0 — 6 11 3
Jessica Rieger and Lecia McHargue; Julie Surina, Rachelle Urban (6), Annie Tweedy (7) and Nichole Holguin. W — Rieger. L — Tweedy. Top hitters — Cibola, Tasha Reyes 2-3, 2B, run, 2 RBI; McKenzie Mack 1-1, 3B, BB, 2 runs. Clovis, Laura Wood 3-4, 3B, 2 runs; Cynthia Lucio 3-4, 3B, run, 2 RBI; Sonia Chavez 3-4, 3B; Jordan Garrett 1-3, BB, 2 runs, 2 SB.
Cibola 10, Clovis 3
Cibola 002 323 0 —10 11 1
Clovis 102 000 0 — 3 5 7
Rieger and McHargue; Tweedy, Surina (6) and Holguin. W — Rieger. L — Tweedy. Top hitters — Cibola, Kelly Waites 3-4, 3B, run, RBI; Reyes 2-4, 3B, run, RBI; Sophia Ayala 2-4, run; Naomi Montoya 1-3, 2 RBI. Clovis, Lucio 1-3, 2B, 3 RBI; Wood 2-3, 2 runs; Tweedy 2-3, run, SB. Records — Cibola 9-14 (4-7), Clovis 11-11 (1-7). JV score — Clovis 5, Cibola 4, 8 innings.