By Kevin Wilson
In what has become a familiar end to the Portales Church League Softball season, St. Helen’s No. 1 came away with an easy win for the title.
St. Helen’s No. 1 finished off a 15-0 season with a 25-9 win over the Wanderers (a.k.a. St. Helen’s No. 7), claiming its sixth straight church league title.
The Wanderers put up a fight early, taking 7-4 lead at one point thanks to three homers. Junior Aguilar clubbed a two-run shot in a four-run first, and the Wanderers got homers from both Josh Leal and Arturo Ontiveros (inside-the-park) in the third.
From the fourth inning on, though, it was all St. Helens No. 1. The team scored six in the fourth to take the lead for good, then put it away with a nine-run fifth.
“I felt it was a good matchup,” St. Helen’s No. 1 coach Larry Urioste said of the Wanderers, “but my guys came through when they had to. Some games they’ve got it, some games they don’t and tonight they had it.”
In the two-inning stretch, St. Helen’s No. 1 sent 24 batters to the plate and had nine straight runners reach base — and score — in the fifth inning.
During the two innings that saw St. Helen’s No. 1 make its run, the Wanderers could only manage a Seth Walker single.
“Lots of errors killed us and our sticks died on us,” Wanderers coach Alex Ontiveros, Jr. said. “We couldn’t do much after that. when they get hot, they get hot.”
For the game, St. Helen’s No. 1 pounded out 21 hits. Dusty Nusser went 3 for 3 with three RBIs to lead St. Helen’s No. 1, while Alberto Lopez was 3 of 4 with four runs scored.
Arturo Ontiveros and Aguilar each went 2 for 3 with a homer and two RBIs in a losing effort.
Urioste had to balance coaching St. Helen’s No. 1 with his job as president of the church league. He said it caused no real problems for him or the team.
“It’s a lot more (work),” Urioste said, “but it went smoothly.”