LOVINGTON — The Portales Lady Rams did a lot of things right Tuesday night. What came back to bite them was their defense.
Portales outhit Lovington 20-7 in their District 4-3A softball doubleheader, but the Lady Wildcats had just enough to post a 2-1, 7-6 sweep and claim the district title.
In the opener, the teams were scoreless until the top of the seventh when Jasmine Vega singled to drive in courtesy runner Vanessa Olivas. In the bottom of the inning, Lovington (15-10, 7-1 district) took advantage of two Lady Rams errors to post the victory.
Pitcher Kelsey Laurenz, who carried a one-hit shutout into the inning, finished with a three-hitter, no earned runs allowed, one walk and three strikeouts.
In the second game, Portales (16-8, 5-3) rallied with three runs in the seventh to make it close. The Lady Rams had a 12-4 advantage in hits, but committed eight errors.
“When you have eight errors, you can’t win ballgames,” PHS coach Robbie Crowley said. “I couldn’t ask Kelsey to do more than she did.”
Simi Laurenz, who singled doubled in the opener, hit solo homers for Portales in the third and seventh innings. Sori Flores led the 12-hit attack by going 3-for-4.
Laurenz allowed four hits and just two earned runs in the nightcap, walking five and striking out four.
Shortstop Krishelle Marquez went 2-for-3 for Lovington, including a two-run double in the second. First baseman Marleyna Ochoa didn’t have a hit, but scored three runs.
Portales finishes the regular season with a noon doubleheader at West Las Vegas on Saturday. Pairings for next week’s 16-team Class 3A state tournament will be announced on Sunday.