Clovis High sophomore Samantha Ramos hits the ground after diving to catch a pop fly to end the fifth inning in the opener of Tuesday’s doubleheader against Roswell Goddard at Lady Wildcat Softball Complex. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth)
By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
Clovis High senior Rachelle Urban had a nice, comfortable outing in the circle in the opener of Tuesday’s softball doubleheader against Roswell Goddard.
She was called back to duty on short notice in the nightcap.
Urban allowed five hits and got plenty of offensive support in the Lady Wildcats’ 11-1 first-game rout. Then after sitting around on a chilly night, she had no margin for error in the second game, relieving freshman starter Tisa Forrest in the seventh inning of a one-run game.
Urban was equal to the challenge, earning a save by retiring the side in order on grounders in a 7-6 win to complete the sweep.
The wins boosted the Lady Cats to 5-2 for the season.
“I think I’m a better pitcher when I don’t have a lot of time to warm up,” Urban said. “(Coach Brandi Thomas) told me to warm up, and I warmed up quick. I didn’t have time to worry about it.”
After cruising in the opener, called in the bottom of the fifth because of the 10-run rule, the Lady Cats were forced to work hard in the second game. Left fielder Teshia Lujan drove in three runs with a pair of singles, and designated player Naomi Baca beat out an infield hit, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on a passed ball for the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth.
Forrest matched up against hard-throwing Goddard eighth-grader Madie Greene in the second game in what Thomas called “a battle of the youngsters.”
Greene walked four batters in the first, but was helped by a double play and would have escaped unscathed except for Lujan, who punched an opposite-field, two-run single between first and second.
Greene walked two of the first three batters in the second, but no one after that. She finished with 10 strikeouts.
“She settled down,” Goddard coach David Lawrence said of Greene, “and we crept back in the game. We did a better job of hitting in that game.
“We’re real young; we start four freshmen. The first game was just (a case of) jitters and some mental mistakes.”
Forrest, meantime, issued only two walks with six strikeouts. Her defense let her down a bit with four errors, leading to three unearned runs.
“We had to earn what we got,” Thomas said of the second game. “They have talent, but they’re young like we are.”
In the opener, junior shortstop Jordan Garrett capped a three-run second with a two-run homer, and Urban blanked the Lady Rockets (0-2) after the first inning.
Third baseman Sonia Chavez led an eight-hit Clovis attack, going 3-for-3.
“We played well in the first game,” Thomas said. “Racha (Urban) did a great job. She’s stepped up for us.”
Urban said she tries not to pay attention to the score.
“I just mainly worry about my pitches and whether I’m hitting my spots,” she said. “I don’t consider myself a strikeout pitcher; I’m more of a groundball pitcher. I have a lot of confidence in my defense.”