Spring break ends early for the Portales High softball team, as it resumes playThursday in the Dexter Tournament.
Portales (2-2) plays against District 4-3A rival Ruidoso in an 8 a.m. game, one of three the Lady Rams will have during the weekend when most students are enjoying their mid-semester break.
“There really isn’t (a break for athletes),” Portales softball coach Robbie Crowley said. “We have to play on spring break or we can’t get all of our games in. Some of these kids play three sports and they don’t have any vacation.”
Portales and Ruidoso are the only Class 3A teams in the bracket, which also includes Hope Christian, Estancia, Eunice, Jal, Artesia’s junior varsity, and host Dexter.
It’s not the same type of pre-district season as some of Portales’ other sports, with games against mostly Class 1A and 2A teams. All things considered, though, Crowley feels that a good pitcher can really even the disparity between the smaller and larger schools.
“I like playing them, they’re pretty tough competition,” Crowley said of teams like Jal and Loving. “It depends (more) on who you face as a pitcher.”
That’s part of the reason why Crowley didn’t like the idea of facing Ruidoso in the opener. Crowley said she spoke a few weeks ago with Ruidoso coach Billy Page and he said there was a good chance his daughter, Lady Warrior starting pitcher Appolonia Page, would miss the tournament due to prior commitments.
Should the Lady Rams beat Ruidoso, with or without Appolonia Page, they could see Jal in the second round.
“It’s going to be tough,” Crowley said of a potential matchup with the Class 2A school. “We’re going to have to play. We can’t have the errors we’ve been having.”
The Portales junior varsity is also in tournament action this weekend, as the team travels to Clovis for a 7:30 p.m. Friday matchup against the Lady Wildcats JV squad.