Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Ron Warnick
QCS Senior Writer 

Lady Rattlers win two from Logan


April 13, 2022

Ron Warnick

Tucumcari pitcher Mireya Estrada tosses a throw to first baseman Sierra Valverde after fielding a grounder during the first game of a doubleheader Thursday against Logan.

The Tucumcari softball team in a workmanlike fashion swept a doubleheader Thursday by 15-0 and 17-7 scores against a visiting Logan squad that's rebuilding its program.

In the first game, Mireya Estrada pitched a no-hitter against the Lady Longhorns in a game that was shortened to four innings by the mercy rule. Estrada struck out seven with no walks and one hit batter. Harley McKinney, Kylee Carmichael and Alexis Ramirez each hit two-run singles.

In the nightcap, Sage Knapp earned the win by allowing six hits, two hit batters, six walks and striking out three. She allowed one or no runs in four of the five innings she pitched. Alexus Lafferty totaled two hits and four RBI.

Tucumcari improved to 6-5.

Lady Rattlers coach CJ Oglesby said he "chewed out" his team for what he perceived as a lack of effort during a district doubleheader loss to East Mountain two days before.

"Big games come, but I think they're too young to understand the pressure about that," he said of the East Mountain twinbill. "They get a lot in their heads. But they're young, and they're learning."

Oglesby praised second baseman Carmichael for bouncing back Thursday after poor games during the previous matchup. He again praised shortstop Lafferty for her steady presence.

"Kylee showed up and played and hit today. She's an eighth-grader, and she's learning. She came out positive today and fielded and hit the ball well.

"Alexus, she's a leader on the field. I'm so proud of her. I think she could be an all-state shortstop this year."

Oglesby also praised catcher Amaya Infante for her hustling defense.

Logan fell to 0-10, though coach Dustin Robertson said its record doesn't reflect its vast improvement. The Lady Longhorns shelved the program for two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's been night and day," he said of the improvement. "The work they've put in really showed today. We got beat, but I couldn't be any more proud. It'll come together; we just need time. The main thing I preach is staying together and loving on each other. If you got a team that's tight, they'll work hard.

"Our pitching still needs work, but it's better than when we started in the season. The defense is better, and the bats are coming around."

Oglesby said the Lady Longhorns are close to turning a corner to becoming a good team.

"They're not bad," he said. "They got some players who have the potential to go. Their shortstop (Desta Rose), if she gets some more work on the little bitty stuff, she'll be good. She hits the ball well.

"They're not that far off. Kudos to them."

Rose hit a two-run single in the second game. Another apparent two-run single was taken away from her when the umpire ruled she asked for and was granted a timeout just before the pitch was delivered, rendering the play dead.

About the only thing that dissatisfied Oglesby was it took several innings before his team began hitting with authority.

"We've got to get our bats going more," he said. "We had five home runs in practice yesterday; everyone was hitting the ball hard. I think that will come with confidence. But we come to games and, 'Where does it go?'"

Oglesby emptied his bench during the second game.

"We have 17 players on varsity. If we get everybody in the game, that's a better situation for everybody," he said.

East Mountain 12, Tucumcari 1

East Mountain 15, Tucumcari 2

The Lady Rattlers ran into a buzzsaw in the form of East Mountain junior pitcher Olivia Ford, who earned two wins on April 5 in the district opener for both teams.

Ford, a hard thrower, struck out 19 batters in 11 innings during her two victories over Tucumcari. She walked 10 and allowed five hits.

Oglesby said he was "very disappointed in the effort we showed."

"Olivia is a beast," he added. "No excuse for our terrible team effort."

In the first game, the Timberwolves scored in three of their first four innings to stake a 9-1 lead.

In the nightcap, East Mountain tallied 11 runs in the opening inning to seize control.

East Mountain improved to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in district play.


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