High school baseball, softball teams enter district play

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON − The high school baseball and softball seasons officially entered the district phase with both of Piedra Vista's squads rolling to a pair of road wins at Eldorado.

Meantime, the Kirtland Central baseball team earned its third straight win, knocking off Bernalillo at home as the District 1-4A campaign gets underway this week.

Here's a look back at a busy weekend on the diamonds for local and area teams.


Piedra Vista opens district season with sweep over Eldorado

Piedra Vista's Emma Lovato allowed only one hit over 11 innings as she threw both games of a doubleheader on the road against Eldorado on Friday, March 31, 2023

Piedra Vista High School softball pitcher Emma Lovato threw a no-hitter in six complete innings as the Lady Panthers rolled to an 13-0 win in the first game of a doubleheader Friday afternoon at Eldorado.

Lovato's day was just getting started, as she came back in the nightcap to allow only one hit in a 10-0 win over the Lady Golden Eagles.

Lovato, who struck out 11 hitters and walked only one in the first game of the twinbill, faced 19 batters over the six innings, just one more than the minimum on her way to victory.

Junior Landry Bales drove in four runs, sophomore Taquira Hood drove in three more as Piedra Vista scored in the first, third, fifth and sixth innings to earn the first win of the District 2-5A season.

In the second game, Lovato was aided by a 5-RBI performance from Brookelynne Cadrain, who helped the Lady Panthers scored seven runs in the top of the first inning.

Cadrain and Reagan Werth each scored a pair of runs in the nightcap as Piedra Vista improved to 16-2 on the season. Winners of five straight games, the Lady Panthers are ranked fourth in the state by MaxPreps in Class 5A.

The team will be back in action on Saturday at home against La Cueva. The Lady Bears are currently ranked third in the state with a record of 12-2.

Kirtland Central takes pair from Navajo Prep

The Kirtland Central High School softball team ran its win streak to three games in a row after taking a pair of games at home Friday afternoon against Navajo Prep.

Pitcher Rory Benally pitched a complete game for the Lady Broncos in the opener, striking out 15 batters in a 12-7 win over in the opening game of the twin bill. Benally aided her own cause at the plate, going 3 for 3 with a pair of RBI's.

Kaitlyn Tsosie scored three runs in the opener, also driving in a run with a triple.

Kirtland Central scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning, but saw that lead nearly evaporate after the Lady Eagles scored four times in the top of the second. The Lady Broncos then padded the margin scoring three times in the bottom of the frame.

In the nightcap, Benally was back in the dish, again commanding the plate with eight strikeouts in a 14-4 triumph over Navajo Prep.

Tsosie scored three runs, as did Shayonna Prettyboy and Kiana Tsosie in the victory, which improved the Lady Broncos record to 4-6 on the season.

In addition to her pitching execution, Benally also hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the third inning, part of a six-run frame that sealed the deal.

Navajo Prep has a pair on doubleheaders coming up next week, on the road Tuesday against Rehoboth Christian and then at home on Thursday against Laguna-Acoma.

Kirtland Central will open the District 1-4A season at home Tuesday at 3 p.m. against Shiprock.


Piedra Vista opens district campaign strong

Scoring three runs in the top half of the seventh inning, the Piedra Vista High School baseball team broke a 2-2 tie and wound up taking the first game of a District 2-5A doubleheader by a score of 5-2 Saturday morning at Eldorado High.

After a pair of Eldorado pitchers loaded the bases in the top half of the seventh, the Panthers were able to pull clear of the Golden Eagles thanks to Kelton Mitchell, Keenan Bejar and Jacob Ramsted.

The opening game of the doubleheader featured a solid performance on the mound from Kendrick Aragon, going seven complete innings and striking out nine hitters to earn the win. Aragon allowed only four hits and three walks in the process.

In the nightcap, Aragon was again instrumental in the Panthers 6-2 win over Eldorado. Aragon went 2 for 3 at the plate with pair of doubles. He also scored a run and recorded an RBI.

The game was tied 1-1 after one inning before the Panthers grabbed the lead in the top half of the third inning, scoring twice. They added a pair of runs in the fourth inning on their way to their third straight win and a record of 13-5 (2-0 District).

Dax Vigil was sensational on the mound, throwing seven complete innings and allowing only two runs on five hits, striking out eight hitters in the process.

The Panthers will be home on Friday for a doubleheader against La Cueva (11-4). The Bears are currently ranked fifth in the state according to MaxPreps in Class 5A while Piedra Vista is ranked eighth in the classification.

Kirtland Central slips past Bernalillo

Kirtland Central's Jaten Pousson connects on a base hit to left field in the bottom of the second inning of a game against Bernalillo, Saturday, April 1, 2023 at Kirtland Central High School.

The Kirtland Central High School baseball overcame a three-run deficit to rally for a 5-4 win at home Saturday afternoon over Bernalillo.

Trailing 4-1 heading into the bottom of the third inning, the Broncos scored a pair of runs to close the gap before taking the lead for good with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Jharrin Tyler recorded a pair of RBI's in the winning effort while Tyler Beach scored twice. Pitcher Jay Tsosie helped his own cause with an RBI triple while also striking out six batters in four innings of work.

The win improves Kirtland Central's record on the season to 5-7 and now have a three-game win streak heading into the District 1-4A campaign.

Kirtland Central will be on the road Tuesday at 3 p.m. to face Shiprock (5-5) in the district opener.

Sandia takes two from Farmington

The Sandia High School baseball team opened up an early lead in game one of its doubleheader against Farmington before recording a 9-2 win to open the District 2-5A campaign.

The second half of the twin bill wasn't much different, as Sandia scored multiple runs in four separate innings on its way to a 10-6 win, sweeping the doubleheader and opening the district season with a 2-0 mark.

In the opening game, the Matadors opened up a 4-0 lead after three innings thanks to Jameer Meadows, who had a 2-RBI single in the first inning, followed by a 2-run home run in the fourth to pad the score.

Danny Santiago drove in two more runs in a 5-run fourth inning that put the game out of reach.

Zachary Kmatz struck out six Scorpions hitters and allowed only three hits in six innings to pick up the win.

In the nightcap, Armando Serratos drove in four runs while going 2 for 4 at the plate with a double and a triple.

The majority of the Scorpions offense in the second game came off the bats of James Martin and Hunter Martin, who combined to go 4 for 7 at the plate with three runs scored and a pair of RBI's.

Farmington has now lost five straight and fall to 6-8 (0-2 District) on the current season. They'll look to bounce back at home on Tuesday to face Durango in a non-district game before resuming its district stretch on Saturday at Ricketts Park in a doubleheader against West Mesa.