JAL — Junior Amanda Marquez pitched a two-hitter to lift the Portales High softball team to a 4-2 win over Jal and a split of their doubleheader on Tuesday.
The Lady Panthers scored five in the first and won the opener 8-0 behind a one-hit pitching performance by soplhomore Kristine Vargas.
Brittany Gardner, who had Portales’ only hit in the opener with a third-inning single, tripled twice and went 3-for-4 in the nightcap. She scored three runs for the Lady Rams (5-4), and drove in the fourth.
Gabby Garcia and freshman Sorina Flores each had two hits for the Lady Rams, who out hit the Panthers 10-2. Garcia collected a pair of RBIs.
“I was proud of the kids for bouncing back,” Lady Rams coach Robbie Crowley said. “Honestly, I think that’s the best game we’ve played this year.”
Marquez carried a shutout into the bottom of the fifth before giving up single runs in the fifth and sixth. She finished the game with five walks and nine strikeouts.
Portales struggled in the first inning of the opener, but then settled down and held its own the rest of the way, Crowley said.
“After giving up five in the first inning, we played well the rest of the way,” Crowley said.
Junior LeAnne Blaeser was victimized by some defensive breakdowns behind her, but managed to keep the Lady Panthers (3-4) in relative check after the opening stanza.
The Lady Rams return to action on Thursday with a 4 p.m. doubleheader at Roswell High.