By Dave Wagner, Freedom New Mexico
CLOVIS — The Clovis and Portales softball teams finished off their summer schedules Tuesday night with the Lady Wildcats posting an 18-7, 10-0 sweep at Lady Wildcat Complex.
Clovis finished its summer slate at 9-9 and gained a 3-3 split for the season against the Lady Rams.
The Lady Cats broke open the first game with 10 runs in the bottom of the fourth, ending the game in that inning on a 90-minute time limit in effect. Sharae Kuchta and Elena Wimberly combined in the circle for the Lady Cats.
Brittany Gardner went 3-for-3 for the Lady Rams and drove in three runs.
“The summer season was great for us,” said Portales assistant T.C. Nusser, who filled in with coach Robbie Crowley sidelined by surgery. “We lost a total of five starters from last (spring) — three who graduated and two who moved away — so summer league is great because we find out who can play where.”
In the second game, Clovis scored one in the first and two in the second, then ended the game on the 10-run rule by scoring seven times in the bottom of the fifth.
Charlotte Varney delivered a two-run, bases-loaded single to make it 9-0, and Stephanie Ricketson finished off the game with a run-scoring single.
Adrianna Aguilar went the first three innings for the Lady Cats, with Julie Garcia working the final two for the shutout.
“The summer was very good,” Clovis coach Brandi Thomas said. “We worked out a lot of kinks and got a lot of the younger kids some game time.”
Thomas said she’s confident the Lady Cats can bounce back next spring from their 9-17 season in 2008.
“I’m really looking forward to the season,” she said. “As long as we stay healthy, we should have enough experience to finally turn the corner.”