CHS SOFTBALL: Lady Cats, Hobbs split

Clovis’ Nicole Anaya tags out Hobbs’ Stevie Dennis at second base at the end of a rundown in the first inning of Tuesday’s District 4-5A softball doubleheader at Lady Wildcat Complex. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

The Clovis High softball team pulled one out of the fire in the first game of Tuesday’s wind-blown District 4-5A-opening twin bill with Hobbs at Lady Wildcat Complex. A second-game comeback, though, fell short.

The Lady Wildcats scored four times in the bottom of the seventh for a wild 16-15 win over the Lady Eagles. However, in the nightcap Hobbs erased a 5-1 deficit with a six-run third and held on for an 11-8 win.

“I’m proud of the way we came back,” CHS softball coach Brandi Thomas said of the opener. “I think we played about 10 innings strong and then we let down.

“In the conditions that both teams had to play in, we gave it our all.”

The first game featured 38 hits — 21 for Clovis. The Lady Cats (11-7, 1-1 district) took a 12-10 lead with a four-run fifth, but Hobbs got back-to-back two-run singles from Blakely Jenkins and Jessica Gibson in a five-run sixth.

The Lady Cats were blanked in the bottom of the sixth when left fielder Melody Maldonado got the Lady Eagles (13-5, 1-1) out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam by catching Brittany Mascarenas’ fly ball and gunning down Samantha Ramos at the plate.

After Hobbs failed to score in the top of the seventh, Lorena Garza started the Lady Cats’ rally with a single and scored on a triple by Sonia Chavez. Teshia Lujan, who went 5-for-5 with three RBI, delivered an run-scoring single. Maria Gallegos walked and Laura Gulley tied the game with a run-scoring single to right-center.

Nicole Anaya followed with a sacrifice bunt that pitcher Chelsey Drummond threw past first, allowing Gallegos to score the winning run.

Mascarenas went 3-for-4, hitting two-run singles in the first and third and driving in a fifth run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

In the second game, Jordan Garrett lined an inside-the-park home run to lead off the bottom of the first. Chavez tripled in two runs and scored on an overthrow as the Lady Cats opened a 5-1 margin.

Hobbs rallied with six runs in the third, highlighted by Gibson’s two-run double, for a lead it would not relinquish. Chavez led off the bottom half of the inning with a home run, but the Lady Eagles scored single runs in each of the next four frames.

Trailing 11-6, the Lady Cats mounted a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh as Garza singled, Chavez doubled and Lujan and Gallegos hit RBI singles. But the Lady Eagles survived when Jenkins ran down Gulley’s drive into the right-center field alley.

“We hit the ball hard, but we hit it right at people,” Thomas said of the nightcap.