Portales falls short in title game

By Eric Butler: Freedom correspondent

FARMINGTON — Portales’ softball team had been having its merry way against opposing pitching in its first three games while the Rams advanced to the Class 3A title game for the first time in school history.

All that hitting, running, sliding and, most importantly, scoring came to an abrupt end Saturday as Bloomfield beat Portales 6-0.
Bloomfield pitchers Kellie Mason and Kayla DeHerrera held the Rams to only two hits to claim the blue-colored first-place trophy.
Portales (20-9) got a trophy too, however, and Rams’ coach Robbie Crowley was quite happy about that.

“I’m proud of the kids and I’m proud of the red trophy,” Crowley said. “We don’t have one of those in softball. In fact, we didn’t a trophy in softball. That’s something to build on — it gets better every year.”

The Rams started senior Sasha Parker, the winning pitcher in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. In the top of the second, Bloomfield (24-6) started a four-run rally when freshman Tiara Archibeque hit a ball that ricocheted off Parker’s glove and DeHerrera drilled liner past Rams’ third baseman Janette Spotswood. With the bases loaded, Merceded Martinez hit a bloop single to right for a 1-0 lead. Later in the second, three more runs crossed the plate on a groundout and a subsequent errant throw to first as Bloomfield opened a 4-0 advantage.

The Bobcats also reached Parker for single runs in the third and fifth innings. Shareesa Nusser, the starter in Portales’ semifinal win over Santa Fe Indian, relieved Parker in the fifth and went the rest of the way.

Bloomfield scored 19 runs in the first two games of the tournament.

Mason struck outevery Portales hitter the first time through the order. By the time her six-inning stint was over, the Bloomfield ninth-grader had fanned 15 Rams and allowed only one baserunner — when Amanda Terry’s comebacker was thrown away by Mason in the fourth.

“We could’ve done better at the bats, because we haven’t practiced against the riseball,” said Portales senior catcher Jessica Adkins after the game.

“It always kind of goes back to that, because we don’t have a feeder program,” said Crowley, whose team had amassed 39 runs in its previous three games of the tournament. “We’ve been hitting well and I’m not disappointed in the kids one iota.”