Early season tournaments keep prep baseball, softball teams busy

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON − A number of local and area prep teams braved weather conditions and lengthy road trips this past weekend to compete in baseball and softball tournaments across the state.

Here's a look back at how some of those teams fared as the early days of the spring season got underway.


Piedra Vista remains unbeaten

The Piedra Vista High School softball team overcame quite a bit on their way to winning the St. Pius Invitational last weekend, culminating with a 17-9 victory on Saturday over the host team.

The Lady Panthers opened the tournament on Thursday with a 5-2 win over Volcano Vista, then beating Cibola 4-1 in second round action on Friday afternoon.

Piedra Vista's Emma Lovato warms up between innings of a softball game against Bloomfield, Thursday, March 31, 2022 at the Farmington Sports Complex.

In addition to arriving late for the Friday game after the team bus broke down, the Lady Panthers earned the seventh win from as many games this season after Brookelynne Cadrain's walk off 3-run homerun sealed the deal over the Lady Cougars.

The Panthers trailed 1-0 heading into the final frame, but scored four times to earn the win, with Cadrain's homerun snapping Cibola's season-opening win streak at seven games.

The game was scoreless to the top of the sixth inning, when Jalyn Montes drove in Amaya Castille with a double, one of only three hits surrendered by Piedra Vista's Emma Lovato. The senior hurler threw seven innings and struck out 17 batters to earn the win.

Piedra Vista improved to 8-0 on the season after beating St. Pius and will be back in action on Thursday at home for a doubleheader against Shiprock.

Lady Scorps shut out in opener

The Farmington High School softball team lost 2-0 to Artesia in the opening round of tournament action on Friday.

Junior Perseis Aguilar's 2-run homerun in the top of the sixth inning scored senior Kadence Ray and broke a scoreless tie before lifting the Lady Bulldogs to a 2-0 record to start the season. Aguilar has three RBIs in three games this season for Artesia.

Sophomore pitcher Makaylee Morillon threw a gem against the Lady Scorpions, striking out five and allowing only four hits in seven complete innings.

Bloomfield starts season on losing note

The Bloomfield High School softball season got off to a slow start in a 7-2 loss to West (Torrance, Calif.) High School in tournament action in Bullhead City, Arizona.

The Lady Bobcats were led offensively by junior Nevaeh Archuleta, who went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and a run scored. Junior Annalisa Gallegos drove in a run as well for the Lady Bobcats.

Lady Tigers come up short in tournament

The Aztec High School softball team lost its opening game of the Bullhead City (Ariz.) Tournament on Thursday by a final score of 8-4 to Redlands (Calif.) High School.

The Lady Terriers scored four runs in the top of the first inning before adding a pair of runs in the second inning to gain a commanding lead. Both teams swapped a pair of runs in the seventh inning as Redlands improved its record to 4-4-1 on the season.

Aztec (2-3 overall) was led offensively by sophomore Alexyn Candelaria, who scored twice while going 3-for-3 at the plate with a double. Candelaria is currently hitting .588 on the season with with six runs scored, six runs batted in and a pair of extra base hits. Junior Lacie Langford drove in a pair of runs in the losing effort.

Kirtland Central outscored in season opener

The Kirtland Central High School softball team picked up its first loss of the season in a 21-7 run-rule defeat on the road against San Juan (Utah).

Kirtland Central jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but proceeded to give up 10 unanswered runs during the bottom of the first and second innings. San Juan would score six more times in the third and five more runs in the fourth inning before the game was called.

Kirtland Central was led offensively by Talya Tso, who scored twice, as well as by Kyleigh Thomas, who drove in three runs in a losing effort.


Panthers close out tournament strong

After losing the opening game of tournament action at Carlsbad High on Thursday against Clovis, the Piedra Vista High School baseball team finished strong, beating Del Valle (Texas) 14-3 on Friday and finishing the run with a 13-3 win on Saturday over Lovington.

The Panthers will return with a record of 5-2 overall on the season before they take the field on Thursday against Smoky Hill (Colo.) High in the Scorpion Invitational at Ricketts Park.

Piedra Vista's Kendrick Aragon waits on a pitch in a game against Farmington, Saturday, March 19, 2022 at Ricketts Park

Offensively, the Panthers were led by Kaden Peace and Chris Jeager, each driving in three runs in the tournament finale against Lovington. Kelton Mitchell scored three times while Trey Valdez scored twice and went 3-for-3 at the plate with a triple.

Kendrick Aragon threw five complete innings for Piedra Vista, striking out five while allowing only five hits and three walks in the contest.

Farmington High off to fast start

The Farmington High baseball team rolled to a 10-2 win over Mayfield in a consolation round game of the Southern New Mexico Tournament in Las Cruces.

The Scorpions went 2-1 in tournament action, opening the bracket play with a 10-3 win over Gadsden on Thursday before they were shut out 10-0 on Friday by Centennial High. Farmington now has a record of 4-2 on the season.

Sophomore James Oliver earned his second win of the season in the victory over Mayfield.

The Scorpions will be in action on Thursday at Ricketts Park when they host Aztec in the opening round of the Scorpion Invitational.

Bloomfield captures Bobcat Invitational

The Bloomfield High School baseball team won its own tournament over the weekend, capped off with Saturday's 14-1 over Capital.

Pitcher Drew Perez surrendered only one run over five innings, striking out 10 batters. Ryan Sharpe went 3-for-3 at the plate, driving in four runs with a double and a triple while McKell Colbert also had four runs batted in.

Perez helped his own cause with a double and a pair of RBIs.

Bloomfield improves to 4-1 and will be back in action on Tuesday at 4 p.m. when they face Valencia.

Aztec goes 2-1 in Tiger Invitational

The Aztec High School baseball team wrapped up hosting the Tiger Invite on Saturday, losing at home in the championship game by a final of 15-1 to Durango.

The Tigers opened the tournament on Thursday with a 11-0 shutout victory over Pagosa Springs, then came back on Friday to beat Grand County (Utah) by a score of 8-4.

Sophomore Dalton Wilmer continues to have a strong start to the season for the Tigers, going 2-for-3 at the plate with three runs batted in and a pair of runs scored in the victory over Grand County. Wilmer is hitting .389 on the season with seven RBIs in the first six games of the campaign.

The Tigers exit the tournament with a record of 5-2 overall and will be back in action on Thursday when they visit Ricketts Park to face Farmington at 4:30 p.m. in the opening round of the Scorpion Invitational.

Kirtland Central falls short in tournament finale

The Kirtland Central High School baseball team wrapped up its participation in the Aztec Tiger Invitational with a 6-3 loss to Grand County (Utah) High.

The Red Devils scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning and never trailed, thanks to Wyatt Miller and JT Dowd, who each had a pair of RBIs. Dowd went 3-for-3 at the plate with a home run.

Pitcher Jaxon Carroll went 5 1/3 innings and gave up three runs on three hits, striking out three Broncos hitters.

The Broncos (2-4) opened the tournament on Thursday losing 10-0 to Durango before blowing out Pagosa Springs 14-4 on Friday. Kirtland Central will continue tournament play this week at St. Michael's High School when they face Penasco on Thursday at 4 p.m.