Lady Cats no match for West Mesa’s ace

CNJ staff

ALBUQUERQUE — University of New Mexico recruit Gabby Parra struck out 14 batters in a complete game no-hitter, leading top-seeded West Mesa past Clovis 5-0 on Saturday in the first round of the Class 5A state tournament.

Seeded 16th, Clovis (13-14) was making its first state tournament appearance.

“She was every bit as good as I thought she would be,” Clovis coach Brandi Thomas said of Parra. “Once she gets ahead of you, you’re in trouble. And that’s what she did today.”

Parra’s gem was her 16th shutout and third no-hitter for the season.

“I feel very good about the game,” Thomas said. “We played very well. We didn’t give up.”

The Mustangs (24-2) scored one run in the first inning, then Mercedes Hillson broke the game open when she hit a two-run double in the second.

Rachelle Urban started for the Lady Cats, she struck out five and walked none in four innings of work. Tisa Forrest struck out one and walked none to finish the game.

Three seniors played their last game for Clovis on Saturday; Nicole Holguin, Namoi Baca, and Urban.

Thomas said making the playoffs and competing with the tournament’s top seed was a big step up for the program. Clovis finished third in District 4-5A and earned an at-large bid.

“We didn’t have anything to lose,” Thomas said. “I said we would be a thorn in their side, and I think we were. We opened their eyes a little bit.”