By Dave Wagner: PNT sports writer
Portales pitcher Sasha Parker lost the plate for a moment in the first inning, and promptly surrendered two runs.
Her Lady Rams teammates, though, wasted no time turning things around.
Parker didn’t allow another run the rest of the night, and Portales scored 10 runs in the first two innings of the opener en route to a 12-2, 10-0 sweep of Ruidoso in the District 4-3A softball opener for both teams at the PHS field.
“The kids hit the ball better today than I’ve ever seen Portales hit the ball,” Lady Rams coach Robbie Crowley said.
Portales (12-6), which beat the Lady Warriors 3-1 in Saturday’s pre-district round-robin at Lovington, scored six runs on six hits in the first, taking advantage of four Ruidoso errors. The Lady Rams added four runs on four hits in the second.
Catcher Jessica Adkins went 3-for-4, scoring two runs and driving in three with a single, double and triple. Adkins’ two-out double scored Sara Silva in the bottom of the fifth to end that game on the 10-run rule.
Amanda Terry also went 3-for-4 as Portales pounded out 14 hits.
“We hit the ball really well,” said Terry, the Lady Rams’ second baseman and leadoff hitter. “We just helped Sasha get out of that (first inning) and then we got after it.
“I think it kind of carried over to the second game.”
Parker allowed just two singles in the opener, walking four — only one after the first — and striking out five. She pitched a three-hitter in the nightcap, with no walks and two strikeouts.
“She held her composure (after the slow start), and her defense did an outstanding job behind her,” Ruidoso coach Billy Page said. “We were able to hit the ball, but we were hitting it right at people.”
The Lady Rams led just 1-0 through two innings in the second game as Ruidoso center fielder Ariana Ramos turned two fly balls into inning-ending double plays. But the roof fell in on the Lady Warriors (5-7) in the third when Portales plated seven runs on only three hits and three Ruidoso errors.
“We didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing,” Page said. “We got in a hole, and we’ve just got to find a way to get out of it.”
Portales collected nine hits, all singles, in the second game with Janette Spotswood going 3-for-3 and Terry and Sabrina Villanueva both adding 2-for-3.
Crowley said winning at home is important in district play. The Lady Rams host Lovington next Tuesday in a doubleheader, then play their final two 4-3A twin bills at Ruidoso and Lovington.
“I told (the team that) we’ve got to sweep at home,’” she said. “We’ve got to take advantage of games at home and then play as well as we can when we go out of town.”