RIO RANCHO — The Shiprock softball team's season came to an end in the first round of the 4A state tournament at Cleveland High School today.
The sixth-seeded Lady Chieftains were doomed by a troublesome second inning in which they committed four errors and allowed seven runs. That propelled No. 11 Ruidoso to an 11-9 victory.
After the seven-run second inning, pitcher Lisa Begay and the Shiprock defense kept the Lady Warrior offense quiet. Over the next four innings, Shiprock allowed just one run.
With Ruidoso's offense stalled, the Lady Chieftains chipped away at the deficit and trailed 9-6 after six innings.
But in the top of the seventh, Ruidoso got its bats going, scoring two runs in the inning.
Down 11-6, Shiprock started the inning well. With two on and no outs, Danyel Johnson connected on a pitch for a two-RBI single. Later in the inning, Johnson scored on a Ruidoso error, making it 11-9 with one out.
But Shiprock's final two batters struck out looking to end the game.
Ruidoso racked up 14 hits on the day.
Johnson and Meah Begay each had two RBIs to pace Shiprock. Shiprock recorded seven hits on the day, all coming from different batters.
5A and 6A tourneys begin Thursday
The 5A and 6A softball tournaments get underway Thursday morning at Cleveland High School.
In 5A, No. 6 Kirtland Central will be the first to take the field, meeting No. 11 Los Alamos at 8:30 a.m. in the first round. The game will be a single elimination play-in game. If the Lady Broncos win, they'll face No. 3 Roswell at 12:30 p.m.
No. 1 Aztec and No. 4 Bloomfield received byes into the quarterfinals where the format moves to a double-elimination tournament.
At 12:30 p.m., Aztec will play the winner of Los Lunas and Alamogordo, and Bloomfield will take on the winner of Valencia and Lovington.
In the 6A bracket, No. 6 Piedra Vista will challenge No. 11 Mayfield at 10:30 a.m. If the Lady Panthers are victorious, they'll advance to the quarterfinals to play No. 3 Oñate at 2:30 p.m.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.