Vanessa Gallegos decided to skip softball last season, but after having her appendix and gall bladder removed during volleyball season, she asked Clovis High softball coach Brandi Thomas if she could come back this spring.
So far, it’s worked out pretty well.
Gallegos delivered three hits in Saturday’s 19-8 pool-play rout of Portales in the Lady Wildcat Invite, then stroked a first-inning, two-run double in the Lady Wildcats’ 4-1 victory over Lovington for third place in the six-team event.
She said missing much of the volleyball season had a lot to do with her decision to play softball.
“Since it’s my senior year, I was upset (about the down time),” said Gallegos, who finished 2-for-3 against Lovington. “I asked coach T if I could come back out, and she said it was fine.
“I’ve been working hard in practice. Coach T told me it seems like I had played last year.”
Thomas is happy to have her in the fold.
“I’m really proud of the way she’s come back,” Thomas said. “She’s been the leader for us on the offensive side.”
Gallegos’ double gave the Lady Cats a 2-0 lead, but they didn’t do much else against Lovington freshman Evanee Munoz, who allowed only five more hits after the first. Clovis’ other runs came with the help of four wild pitches in the third inning, two of which scored runs.
Senior left-hander Adrianna Aguilar was in control most of the way. She gave up seven hits, but struck out 10 and walked only two.
Class 3A Lovington (1-2) scored its only run in the third on a Clovis error.
“I’m really, really proud of them,” Lovington coach Mary McCraw, whose team gave up 25 runs in splitting its pool games. “Clovis is a 5A school and Brandi always has her team ready to go.
“We’ve got some work to do, but I’m very proud of the girls.”
Most of the damage for Clovis came from the top of the order. Leadoff hitter Nicole Anaya went 2-for-3, while No. 2 hitter Jasiman Dykes drew two walks and had a bunt single, scoring twice.
Santa Fe High took the tourney title Saturday night with a 12-0 romp past St. Pius, while Portales claimed fifth place by beating Las Vegas Robertson 12-5.
Clovis 19, Portales 8 — The Lady Cats took quick control of this one, scoring seven times in each of the first two innings.
Cassie Nelson, who homered, and Brittany Mascarenas also went 3-for-4 for Clovis. The game ended after 4 1/2 innings because of the 10-run rule.