RUIDOSO – Two District 4-4A games, district losses, but Ruidoso softball coach Melissa Mejia believes her team is turning a corner, even seeing the 21-4 and 20-9 losses.
Game one saw the Warriors (2-8, 0-2 district) give up nine runs in the first inning, mainly thanks to fielding errors, something they didn’t make in game two.
That game saw Hope Christian (8-7, 2-0) take a 4-0 lead, but every run was earned on straight-up base hits.
In the bottom of the first, Ruidoso returned the favor with seven runs of their own, highlighted by a three-run home run by nine-hitter Danielle Thompson that bounced off the top of the batting cage.
They did a really great job right from the start for us,” said Ruidoso coach Michelle Mejia. “They were aggressive and knew they could hit these pitchers. They did a great job, keeping their heads in and throwing their hands, just like I told them.”
After that, it was the Ruidoso defense that kept them in the lead for the next few innings. That included a play on a ground ball to third base in which the grounder was stopped by shortstop Sawyer Mowdy, who threw it to third to get the lead runner.
That play had Mejia literally dancing in the Warrior dugout.
“We’d been working on keeping our heads in the game, to know where to go with the ball,” Mejia said.
“That made me excited. We’d been working on that all year, and it’s finally coming through on the field.”
Hope Christian re-took the lead on a two-out grand slam by Katie Clark in the third, and led the rest of the way.
It was solid base hits again that beat the Warriors in the end.
“I only have one pitcher, and they caught on to her,” Mejia said. “Other than that, we were doing well. They were just hitting the gaps where we couldn’t get it.”
Even with these two losses, Ruidoso’s play was enough to get their coach excited about the rest of district.
“Even with Gracie (Hooker) twisting her ankle, she should be good by Monday,” Mejia said. “Plus, we have Callie back from injury. We’re doing well.”