By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer
In frigid temperatures that forced both teams to wear sweatshirts for warmth, Roswell High used a five-run second inning to blitz Clovis for an eventual 11-1 victory in six innings in the Clovis Invitational championship game on Saturday night at Lady Wildcat Complex.
Lady Coyotes pitcher Raquel Grajeda went six innings for seven strikeouts, giving up only three hits and one earned run to lead her team to victory in a game ending on the 10-run rule.
Senior Pebbles Urban went 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs, including a one-out single up the middle in the third inning that brought in two runs.
Designated player Lorena Garza provided the Lady Cats’ only run, knocking a triple to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning that brought home sophomore Teshia Lujan.
Roswell coach Art Sandoval attributed the win to team unity and Grajeda’s stellar performance in the circle.
“We told (our players) it was cold, but both teams have to play in this, and we said we had to come out here and execute,” Sandoval said. “I’ve played against (Lady Cats) coach (Brandi) Thomas before. They’re very well-coached, and in order to beat them we have to bring our ‘A’ game.”
Thomas said the cold made the Lady Cats timid at the plate and in the field.
“The difference was they came out to play and we came out scared,” Thomas said. “We were uptight, and it was just one of those things. We’ve been hitting the ball well, and I think being out in the cold kind of hurts a little bit, but you can’t make an excuse for it.”
Roswell jumped on the Lady Cats for five runs in the second, highlighted by Grajeda’s two-run single up the middle. The Lady Coyotes made it 9-0 in the third on Urban’s two-run single and an RBI single to center by junior Heather Martinez.
Thomas said the Lady Cats’ five errors helped make it easier for Roswell.
“Whenever you play in the cold, it gets to your head,” she said. “We had hard gloves, and once you make one error it becomes a domino effect.”
At Lady Wildcat Complex
Lovington 10, Amarillo Palo Duro 4
Roswell High 12, Amarillo Caprock 6
Hobbs 10, Portales 2
Clovis 16, Lubbock Christian 0
Roswell High 9, Hobbs 8
Clovis 10, Lovington 4
Lubbock Christian 10, Palo Duro 8
Caprock 5, Portales 2
Portales 14, Palo Duro 3 (7th place)
Caprock 19, Lubbock Christian 4 (5th place)
Hobbs 9, Lovington 4 (3rd place)
Roswell High 11, Clovis 1 (championship)