Published: 1:00 pm, Wed. Apr. 20th, 2016Updated: 8:52 pm
A marathon Game One Tuesday in Artesia’s first meeting of the season with Lovington turned out to be something of an anomaly.
The Lady Bulldogs outhit the Lady Wildcats 15-10 on the contest, including a trio of home runs, but still came out on the short end, 10-8. Largely to blame: five uncharacteristic errors by the girls in orange.
But while their offense was less prominent in the nightcap of their District 4-AAAAA double header, the girls in orange got the job done, securing the split with a 3-1 victory.
Artesia got off to a commanding start to open the day. Back-to-back singles by Elisa Cardenas and Adrianna Baeza, the latter for a RBI, were followed by an Ale Flores double, and two more runs would cross the plate on an Aubree Olguin walk and RBI single by Gabrielle Gomez as the Lady Bulldogs came a single hitter away from batting around.
But after pulling back within two in the home half, 3-1, on a base hit, the Lady Coyotes did run the order in the bottom of the second, turning the tables with help from a pair of unearned runs, 5-3.
The Lady ‘Dogs tied things up in the top of the fourth on a two-run shot over the center-field fence by Baeza, but again Roswell countered, taking a 8-5 lead out of the fifth. And after knotting the game one last time in the sixth on Baeza’s second solo homer of the game and a two-run bomb by Olguin, Artesia couldn’t hold on, surrendering two more unearned runs to the Coyotes in the bottom of the inning to round out the final.
Both starter Jelisia Perez and reliever McKayla Liles gave up five hits and three earned runs in the circle, the former through one and two-thirds innings. Meanwhile, a stellar game at the plate by Baeza – who was 5-5 with two homers and four RBI – couldn’t overcome Artesia’s defensive miscues.
The Lady Bulldogs played error-free softball in the second game, however, and it made the difference in a low-scoring affair.
Artesia picked up the contest’s first run in the top of the second on a RBI fielder’s choice by pitcher Kacey Thurman, then tacked on what turned out to be a pair of vital insurance runs in the fifth on a Madisyn Asbury single up the middle and a Gracie Puentes sacrifice fly.
Roswell picked up their first run in the home half, but Thurman and her defense were able to escape a bases-loaded situation in the sixth before shutting the book in the seventh to preserve the 3-1 win.
Thurman took the W with five hits and one earned run allowed through six complete, striking out seven. Shyann Spence, on in relief in the seventh, walked one amidst two ground-ball outs and a pop-fly. Baeza was again tops at the plate, 2-3 with a walk, along with Asbury and Puentes.
The split put the Lady Bulldogs at 11-9 on the season, 3-3 in district play, as they prepare to kick off the second round Friday at 5 and 7 p.m. against Roswell High at the Mack Chase Athletic Complex.