By Kevin Wilson
The Ram baseball team couldn’t get a doubleheader sweep against New Mexico Military Institute Tuesday night, but they managed to pick up a new fan: NMMI coach Charlie Ward.
The doubleheader was enough to convince Ward that the Rams are for real — he sent in his ballot Wednesday for the Albuquerque Journal Coaches’ Poll, with Portales in the top five.
“At 11-3, they deserve to be in the top five,” Ward said.
The Rams return to district play Tuesday, with a 4 p.m. doubleheader against Lovington.
The Lady Ram softball team has two things to work on for this weekend — fielding, and storing up energy for the games ahead.
Portales fell to 2-2 in district play with their doubleheader loss to Lovington, and face a tough weekend stretch with four games in a little less than 30 hours.
The Lady Rams (7-9) will work on some fielding going into the weekend, coach Robbie Crowley said.
“We’re hitting the ball really well. We’re going to work hard on the fielding aspect,” Crowley said. “If we don’t have the errors we had, our chances are pretty good.”
Portales will head to Ruidoso Friday to make up a previous doubleheader starting at 3 p.m., then come home to host St. Michael’s Saturday starting at noon.
It seems like an unfair scheduling at first, but Crowley said the Lady Rams were the only team in district that didn’t originally have back-to-back games.
Plus, St. Michael’s will be playing Lovington in a doubleheader Friday night.
The Portales girls track team has yet to qualify anybody for the state meet, but coach Ruth Chavez feels they’re getting closer every time out.
Close was good enough Tuesday, with the girls winning the Goodman Relays Tuesday in Eunice. The Lady Rams scored 77 points and edged out Dexter (74 points) and House (67).
“It was a pretty good track meet for us. We only had three events per kid, so we had to spread it out but we did all right.”
Chavez said the situation is the same with this weekend’s Wildcat Relays in Clovis, which also sets a maximum of three events.
“What we’re going to try to do is get our relays qualified and anybody who’s close in events,” Chavez said, “we’re going to put them in.”
Chavez said that Samantha Foshee is an inch away from qualifying in the high jump, and the team is getting solid relay efforts from Erika Cook, Shannon McAfee and Alicia Arnold.
Cook was the only first-place finisher at Eunice, posting a time of 1:05.16 in the 400-meter dash. The Lady Rams had at least one athlete place in the top three of an event.
Amador Lujan is currently the only qualifier for the Portales track teams, as he qualified in the 100-meter dash earlier this season.
During the season, Portales senior Roni Gomez would have been pretty upset if Rio Rancho’s Brio Rode scored 41 points when the teams met twice.
On Saturday, Gomez didn’t mind when Rode was her teammate in the Bernalillo County East-West All-Star Game Saturday in Albuquerque.
Gomez finished with 10 points, including a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime. From there, Rode took the game over and the West team came out with an 88-79 win.
Erika Cook played in the Golden Spread All-Star Classic in Canyon, Texas, over the weekend. Her team finished fourth, but she averaged 13.5 points in the two games and made the all-tournament team.