Aztec scores 32 combined runs, sweeps doubleheader
FARMINGTON – A much-needed offensive explosion in the second half of the Farmington softball team's Friday doubleheader helped the Lady Scorpions crack the win column for the first time this season.
Hope Christian (1-2) downed FHS 5-3 in the first game, but the Lady Scorps bounced back by cruising past Santa Fe 15-9 on the back end of their doubleheader during the FHS Invitational at the Ricketts Park softball fields.
Farmington (1-8) spotted Hope an early 2-0 lead before getting a run back in the bottom of the first to make it 2-1. After scoring once in the third, the Lady Huskies capitalized on a two-out Farmington error that would have ended the inning. Instead, two more Hope Christian runners scored.
Kailynn Blackwood notched an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, but FHS couldn't add to that and ran out of outs.
"I thought (Laurie) Fentiman did a good job pitching and gave us every chance," Lady Scorps coach Tim Trotter said. "We just didn't really get the bats going early enough."
The Farmington bats heated up in the sixth inning against Santa Fe. Already ahead 7-6, the Lady Scorps strung together hit after hit until eight runners crossed the plate.
Blackwood and Briana Blades both went 3 for 5 with an RBI apiece.
"Blade and (Blackwood) have been swinging the bat well this year," Trotter said. "Those two were the big standouts for me. Laurie was good in both games for us, too, she ended up being 3 for 5 also."
Farmington plays Navajo Prep at noon today and Aztec at 4 p.m. on the last day of the FHS invite.
Kirtland Central 11, Navajo Prep 7
The Lady Broncos handed Navajo Prep (6-2) just its second loss of the year on Friday by winning 11-7 at the Ricketts Park softball fields.
"It was one of those back-and-forth games where they'd get a couple of runs, then we'd answer with a few runs," KC coach Cody Gilmore said. "We happened to make a few more plays than they did."
The game was knotted at 2 until Ayana McGilbert hit an RBI sacrifice fly to give KC the lead. Later that inning, another runner scored on a Prep wild pitch to make it a 4-2 game.
The Lady Broncos (4-6) were able to steadily tack on the offense after that. KC got a five-run rally going in the sixth inning and Tiana Aspaas put the game on ice with a two-RBI single in the top of seventh.
Navajo Prep coach Bryan Heaston said he's got a young, inexperienced team that let nerves get the best of it too often on Friday.
"We made some mental mistakes with the little things, and that improvement comes with time," Heaston said.
Before the game got out of hand, Prep's Tisharae Tsosie hit a two-RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning to make the game 9-6 at that time. Heaston said Tsosie is one of a handful of freshmen he expects to contribute this year.
"(Tisharae) is going to be a really strong hitter for us," he said. "Taina Sandoval is another one. We have five freshmen, and with them, it's just those little mistakes that we can't make. That'll come with experience. We'll be OK."
Prep's first loss of the season came before the KC game, when Santa Fe (2-7) defeated the Lady Eagles 15-2. Following its noon tilt with Farmington, Prep plays Hope Christian at 2 p.m. today.
Aztec 18, Hope Christian 6
Aztec 14, Kirtland Central 0
Runs weren't hard to come by for Roy Johnson's Lady Tigers on Friday, as they crushed Hope Christian 18-6 and Kirtland Central 14-0 in five innings at the Ricketts Park softball fields.
Aztec gave starting pitchers CheyAnn Simkins and Paige Adair more than enough run support during the doubleheader.
After putting together its second-best scoring output of the season against Hope, the Lady Tigers wasted no time getting to KC's Shiloh Lewis in the second game.
Aztec (8-3) scored four runs in the first and then blew the game open with eight more in the second. Johnson said his team has been tearing the cover off fastballs so far this season.
"We're pretty good at hitting anything, but if you can't move the ball or spin it, we're going to hit it a lot harder," he said. "And that girl can throw inside and out, but she just throws one pitch. So we spotted it and teed off on it."
Jocelyn Ulrich and Breanna Watkins each clubbed three-run home runs in the second.
Gilmore said he thought his team helped out an already-prolific Aztec offense by making too many mistakes on defense.
"You can't give a team like Aztec extra outs, but that's exactly what we did," Gilmore said. "We had a chance to stop the bleeding in the second inning but instead just kept giving them extra outs."
The Lady Tigers play Santa Fe at 2 p.m. today before closing out their FHS invite run against Farmington.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.