Clovis softball confident for season opener

By Dave Wagner: Freedom Newspapers

Julie Surina planned to celebrate her 18th birthday on Thursday by going to dinner with her family.

The Clovis High senior would like to celebrate a championship this weekend in the sixth annual Lady Wildcat Classic softball tournament at the CHS softball complex.

“We really want to win this,” said Surina, who is moving up from the junior varsity to be one of the Lady Wildcats’ main pitchers this season. “The whole team is determined. Everybody just wants to do really well.”

The Lady Cats, opening their season this weekend, are bracketed with Lovington and Dimmitt, Texas, in Pool A.

Pool B includes Hobbs, Portales and Las Vegas Robertson.
Three pool games are on tap Friday night and three more on Saturday.

Bracket play begins Saturday afternoon with the championship game slated for 6 p.m.

Clovis has won the event twice — in 2000 and 2003.

First-year Clovis coach Brandi Thomas was encouraged by her team’s performance in scrimmage games last weekend in Roswell against Roswell High, Goddard and defending Class 5A state champion Alamogordo.

“We played very well, and I saw a lot of bright spots,” said Thomas, a CHS graduate who has been an assistant in the program for the past four seasons. “I was very impressed with the way we hit the ball, and that the girls didn’t back down. We came out of it with a lot of confidence.”

Surina, whose older sister Katie also had a birthday (No. 23) on Thursday, and junior Rachelle Urban are ticketed to replace the graduated Paige Adare in the circle.

Surina said she got a boost by striking out eight Alamogordo hitters last weekend.

“Our team really did well in the scrimmages,” she said. “I think we’re going to do really well this year.”

Thomas said her squad is young, with only three seniors out of 15 on the roster. Still, she hopes the Lady Cats’ performance last weekend carries over.

“I think if we play the way we did this past weekend, we’re going to give some people a good run,” she said.

Lady Wildcat Invitational
At Lady Wildcat Softball Complex

POOL A — Clovis, Lovington, Dimmitt.
POOL B — Hobbs, Portales, Las Vegas Robertson.
Friday’s games
Pool play

Clovis vs. Lovington, 4:30 p.m.
Hobbs vs. Robertson, 6 p.m.
Clovis vs. Dimmitt, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday’s games
Pool play

Hobbs vs. Portales, 9:30 a.m.
Portales vs. Robertson, 11 a.m.
Lovington vs. Dimmitt, 12:30 p.m.
Final round
Fifth place, 2 p.m.
Thid place, 4 p.m.
Championship, 6 p.m.