RIO RANCHO – It was a cold, blustery day at Rio Rancho’s Cleveland High School on May 10.
By the end of the day, it was raining and hailing, and that kept Ruidoso’s softball team from continuing.
It kept a lot of teams from continuing, actually, as four games from the Class 4A and 3A/1A tournaments were suspended until today.
When things were called to a halt, Ruidoso was in the middle of its consolation bracket game against Santa Fe Indian, having just completed the top of the first inning.
But first, let’s talk about how the Lady Warriors got there.
Seeded No. 11 Class 4A, Ruidoso used a seven-run second inning to get past Shiprock and into the next round of play.
Those seven runs were crucial, because the Lady Chieftains stated crawling back into the game immediately, scoring one run an inning for the next four.
“I felt a lot better (after the second), because we haven’t had a big inning like that all year,” said Ruidoso pitcher Torri Trapp. “After that, I knew we were going to be OK.”
After the Lady Warriors put up two in the top of the seventh, Shiprock did everything it could to finish big.
Trapp hit and walked the first two batters she faced in the bottom of the seventh, and Danyel Johnson singled to drive in two runs. Johnson later scored on a ball hit by Arian Yazzie which was misplayed for an error.
But that was all they could muster, as Trapp struck out the next two batters looking to end the game and move on.
“At first, I was throwing my outside pitches, and none of them were getting called (for strikes) at all,” Trapp said. “But everyone has had my back lately, and we’ve all been working as a team really well.”
Now in the double elimination bracket, Ruidoso had to face Portales in the next round, and the Lady Rams didn’t kid around, defeating the Lady Warriors 14-3 in five innings.
That put Ruidoso in the game against Santa Fe Indian, a game which will be completed today.
If they win, the Lady Warriors would face the loser of the Cobre/Silver game, to be played at Rio Rancho today at 10:30 a.m.
Ruidoso coach Sal Beltran knows his team will keep winning as long as it keeps hitting.
“Our hitting is what’s kept us in games all year,” Beltran said. “We can win, we just have to put our minds to it and put our bats to the ball.”