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Twin sweeps for Vegas softball teams

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Strengthening their respective positions in the District 2-3A race, both of Las Vegas’ softball teams held their ground Saturday in sweeping doubleheaders against visiting Raton and Taos.

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Meanwhile, Robertson baseball earned a split to bolster its standing as West Las Vegas took a hit with a twinbill loss at home.

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Robertson’s Lady Cardinals knocked Raton down a peg or two from their lofty place in the state rankings with wins of 13-8 and 8-6.

Ashley Encinias and Elicia Trujillo rocked home runs in game one, and Bryanna Duran and Amber Yara did so in game two to highlight another productive day for the Robertson offense.

Encinias finished 4 for 6, Yara and Samantha Montaño both were 4 for 9, and Jamie Fernandez was 3 of 6.

“All in all we had an excellent defensive game,” said Robertson head coach Adrian Jaramillo. “Both pitchers were solid and worked hard hitting their spots. All in all I’m very happy with our day.”

•••

Across town at West Las Vegas’ softball diamond, the Lady Dons put on a pretty good show of their own against Taos, 14-4 and 11-5.

The Lady Tigers led 4-3 in the fourth inning of game one before Shania Gallegos scored on a passed ball. Then Celeste Trujillo cranked a three-run homer over the wall in right center.

WLV pitcher Sarah Gold, who tallied 10 strikeouts, led the defense in holding the visitors scoreless the rest of the way.

Trujillo and Deanna Bustos both went 3 for 4, and Trujillo had a double to go with her home run. Sonya Lujan added two doubles.

In game two, West jumped out to a 5-1 head start by the second and stayed in front. Bustos struck out six to hold Taos at bay.

Trujillo finished 3 for 3 with two doubles and a walk. Lujan went 4 of 4 with one double, and Bustos helped her own cause by going 2 of 4 with two doubles.

“We have some sticks,” said Lucas Griego, WLV head coach. “When we come together, we have a little power out there.”
Griego said his club still needs to iron out some things, namely errors.

“Everybody is close in this district,” he said. “It’s going to be fun.”

• • •

In baseball action Saturday at Whorton Field, Raton ace Cam Baird shackled the Robertson offense in a no-hitter and 2-0 verdict in the opener.

After scoring a couple of early runs, the Tigers could muster no more against a Cardinal defense that got better as the game went on. Michael Salazar, pitching in relief, was in a tough spot with two runners on, but he struck out two and recorded three straight outs to escape the jam.

Game two saw Raton grab a 4-2 lead before Colin Pedro’s two-run single tied it.

Baird regained the lead for Raton with a two-RBI knock in the top of the seventh.

But in the last at-bats, Pedro got hit by a pitch and then scored off Eleazar Allen’s double. After Francisco “Coco” Arguello drew a walk, Allen tied the game on a passed ball. Jeremiah Gouin’s deep fly ball a couple at-bats later scored Arguello for the walk-off winner.

• • •

Alas, the Dons didn’t fare as well on Saturday, enduring two close losses to district leader Taos by scores of 5-2 and 9-6.

In game one, West starting pitcher Jake Ulibarri threw six solid innings but ran into trouble in the end. Two hit batters became run-scoring baserunners and turned a one-run edge into a three-run deficit. And the Dons’ bats couldn’t answer in time, although Jose Juan Montaño’s shot to the fence in left came close to stirring a rally.

Taos is 4-0, West 1-4 in 2-3A play. Raton’s loss to Robertson drops those Tigers to 3-1; the Cards are 2-1.