CHS SOFTBALL: Artesia defeats Lady Cats

Artesia’s Morgan Sanders beats the tag of Clovis High pitcher Lynnae Logan and scores on a wild pitch during Tuesday’s game at Lady Wildcat Complex. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

Based on records, Tuesday’s Clovis High-Artesia softball game figured to be pretty competitive.

The Lady Bulldogs wasted little time making sure it wasn’t, though, scoring early and often in rolling to a 14-1 victory at Lady Wildcat Complex.

Artesia (4-4) and the Lady Wildcats (5-4) both went 2-2 in a 16-team tournament at Las Cruces over the weekend, but in Tuesday’s games they appeared to be miles apart.

Sophomore shortstop Morgan Sanders went 4-for-4 with four runs scored and two RBIs and sophomore Rani Faulkenberry pitched a three-hitter and drove in three runs with a sacrifice fly and two singles.

“The girls came out and swung the bats well,” Artesia coach Scott Simer said. “One of the things we wanted to do today was cut down on strikeouts and we did that.

“Clovis kicked it around a little bit, but we did put the ball in play.”

Artesia finished with 12 hits, including two doubles and three triples. The Lady Bulldogs also benefitted from two Clovis errors, seven walks, a bases-loaded hit batsman and five run-scoring wild pitches.

Faulkenberry struck out eight and walked two. Cruising with a 10-0 lead, she gave up a leadoff triple to Maria Gallegos and an RBI single to Brittany Mascarenas in the fourth.

Clovis’ only other hit was a leadoff single by Jordan Garrett in the first, who was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

“Right now, we’re just not playing the game (well) mentally,” CHS coach Brandi Thomas said. “It’s the difference of kids playing fast-pitch since they were 8 years old, where a lot of our kids (start) when they’re in eighth grade.”

Artesia scored twice in the first, and chased Clovis starter Adrianna Aguilar with a five-run second featuring Anissa Flores’ RBI triple and run-scoring singles by Sanders and Maurivel Raglin.

Sanders tripled home a run in the third, and she and Ashley Molina eventually scored on wild pitches to make it 10-0.