East Mountain ace beats Lady Rattlers again


April 27, 2022

East Mountain pitcher Olivia Ford again bedeviled a shorthanded Tucumcari softball team during a 13-8 district loss Thursday at East Mountain.

Ford struck out 13, walked three and allowed five hits during the Timberwolves’ victory. East Mountain improved to 16-4 overall and 3-1 in district play.

Ford also led the Timberwolves to a doubleheader sweep of Tucumcari on April 5. Tucumcari fell to 7-8, 0-4.

Tucumcari coach CJ Oglesby noted Ford had developed a change-up pitch since the last time his team faced her, and “it had us off balance at times. We weren’t expecting it.”

East Mountain grabbed a 10-6 lead after three innings before the Lady Rattlers settled down.

Oglesby said, “We hit the ball, just struggled early with our pitching. A lot of errors in the outfield.”

Alexus Lafferty went 4-for-4 with five stolen bases for Tucumcari. Harley McKinney, who is learning to slap-hit from the left side of the plate, went 3-for-4. Haisley Huffman went 2-for-4 with an inside-the-park home run and four stolen bases.

“Izabela Reid and her sister Illiana had multiple hits in the game,” Oglesby said. “Izabela hit one off the top of the fence in center. I wish that would have went over for her and all the hard work she puts in. Illiana hit a part of hard-hit singles.

“Those two girls are the hardest-working kids I have ever coached. They never say anything; just come into the game and work from the start of practice to the end.”

Oglesby noted he was down four starters — two due to family emergencies, plus injuries to Sage Knapp and Kylee Carmichael in a collision during the last play of the Santa Rosa game two days before.

“We had some girls that played that haven’t started in a varsity game before that was was real impressed with: freshman Caylee Benavidez and sophomore Tayden Hyslop. We will hear those girls mentioned a lot in the coming years.”

Santa Rosa 8, Tucumcari 7

The Lady Lions came from behind to win 8-7 in extra innings against visiting Tucumcari during a non-district battle of well-matched teams on April 18.

Tucumcari led most of the game until Santa Rosa tied it in the bottom of the seventh.

The Lady Rattlers scored a run in the top of the eighth to retake the lead, but the Lady Lions scored two in the bottom half of the frame to win it after a leadoff walk and two errors.

Oglesby said second baseman Carmichael and right fielder Knapp suffered injuries during a collision on the last play of the game and briefly were hospitalized. Both were released after an evaluation.

“We fought hard and left it all out on the field,” he said. “That’s all I ask. Unfortunately, one of the teams comes up with a loss.”

Tucumcari won 11-8 during its previous battle against Santa Rosa on March 22.

Santa Rosa improved to 16-4 overall.


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