Having a dominant pitcher in fast-pitch softball is nice. Having a backup plan is even nicer.
That made Tuesday a very nice night for Portales, as it found a little bit of extra pitching while recording a 15-0, 16-3 doubleheader sweep of Ruidoso in the District 4-3A opener for both teams.
Sophomore Kiersten Ramirez had little difficulty in her four innings of work, allowing just one hit and striking out 10 of the 17 batters she faced.
The second game, Portales turned to freshman Daizia Looney, who pitched well even though she got more than enough offense if she didn’t. Looney gave up two hits — though one was a homer by Lia Mosher — and got two strikeouts while the defense backed her up throughout the four innings of work.
Portales coach Robbie Crowley said it was good to be able to put Looney in, which gives the Rams a second option after senior Francis Armijo should Ramirez need rest or suffer an injury. That, Crowley said, is a much better scenario than pitching Ramirez every game, as the Rams did earlier in the season.
“Much better,” Crowley said. “It’s nice to have those other kids, that security blanket.”
Third baseman Kailee Rodriguez had a solo homer in the nightcap, and Kassandra Rodriguez hit a homer in the opener. Simone Laurenz, who caught all eight innings, went 3-for-3 in the opener and scored twice.
“They faced three different pitchers tonight,” Crowley said, “and they adjusted to each one. That’s something we’ve had problems, with, making the adjustment.”
Portales is next scheduled for a 3 p.m. Thursday doubleheader at West Las Vegas, followed by an 11 a.m. Saturday doubleheader at Clovis. The latter is part of a Striking Out Cancer fundraiser for Relay for Life.