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Area teams battle it out in state playoffs

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Pecos makes semifinals in Class 2A baseball

By The Staff

A roundup of state baseball and softball results involving area teams:

CLASS 3A SOFTBALL

That last-minute doubleheader with fifth-ranked Portales (resulting in a split on the final day of the regular season) almost paid off for the West Las Vegas softball team.

The Lady Dons put up a fight before being eliminated 4-2 by those same Rams in the losers’ bracket of the state tournament Friday morning at Rio Rancho’s Cleveland High School.

No. 9 seed West, coached by Lucas Griego, nipped No. 8 Shiprock 8-7 early Thursday afternoon in a first-round game held at Rio Rancho High.

That moved the Lady Dons into the quarterfinals and a game with No. 1 Silver. Silver, which would go on to win the championship, prevailed 8-1, sending West to the losers’ bracket and a game with Portales, which had blanked Portales 15-0 in the first round before falling 7-5 against Lovington.

After topping West, the Rams made it all the way to the final before getting shut out 9-0 by the Colts.

Robertson, coached by Adrian Jaramillo, was a district runner-up to Raton and received a No. 7 seed.

But the Lady Cardinals lost a pitchers’ duel thriller 2-1 against No. 10 Santa Fe Indian School on Thursday at the Cleveland campus.

CLASS 3A BASEBALL

Eighth-seeded Robertson got a strong start to its first state tournament appearance under first-year coach Michael Salazar, bouncing No. 9 Socorro 2-1 and 14-4 in a first-round sweep May 6-7 in Las Vegas.

The reward, however, was a quarterfinal encounter with the No. 1 team in Class 3A, Sandia Prep. The eventual state champion Sundevils cruised to a 14-2 victory Thursday at Rio Rancho High.

Sandia Prep went on to shut out No. 4 Cobre 10-0 on Friday and defeat No. 3 Hope Christian 9-4 in Saturday’s final.

West Las Vegas got into the tournament as the 13th seed. Dean Gallegos’ crew, hampered by injuries and a late-season slump, fell at Cobre 10-3 and 10-0 May 6-7 in the first round.

CLASS 2A BASEBALL

Pecos, which had earned the No. 6 seed, turned away the No. 11 Dexter Demons 3-1 in a first-round game held May 4 in Pecos.

This past Wednesday, the Panthers — led by head coach Augustin Ruiz — pulled out a 4-3 upset of No. 3 Tucumcari at Rio Rancho’s Cleveland High School campus.

But the run came to an end in the state semifinals, as No. 2 Estancia blanked Pecos 17-0 to advance to a championship date with top-ranked Eunice.

The Bears defeated Eunice 6-3 in Friday afternoon’s final.

CLASS 2A SOFTBALL

Both Mora and Pecos qualified for the state tournament out of District 2-2A. But with the single-elimination format for the first round, it meant a low margin for error — against the top two squads in the bracket, no less.

Mora lost its opener 25-2 to No. 2 Loving on Thursday at Cleveland High in Rio Rancho.

Meanwhile, over at Rio Rancho High, Pecos’ offense went silent in a 15-0 loss to No. 1 Jal. Jal and Loving did more of the same to the rest of the field and wound up meeting for the state title on Saturday.

Mora was coached by Josh Garcia; Pecos was led by Audra Valencia.