By Dave Wagner
Portales High’s softball team will entertain District 4-3A rivals Lovington and Ruidoso on Saturday in a pre-district event at the PHS softball field.
Lady Rams coach Robbie Crowley said the teams decided to get together for the event because, with only three teams in the district, they each needed to pick up a couple of games.
Portales (9-7) faces Lovington at 10 a.m. in the first game. Lovington and Ruidoso meet at noon, with PHS taking on the Lady Warriors in the 2 p.m. finale.
The games will not count in district standings.
Portales has already played both teams, losing to Lovington 7-6 in a season-opening tournament in Clovis and blanking Ruidoso in a tourney at Dexter in late March.
“I think it’s going to be pretty competitive,” Crowley said. “We beat Ruidoso 8-0, but I think Pony (Lady Warriors pitcher Apollonia Page) was having a bad game.”
Ruidoso coach Billy Page, Apollonia’s father, said Thursday night that his team will be shorthanded for Saturday’s games because several players will be taking ACT tests. He hopes some can make it in time for the late game against Portales.
Page, whose team is 6-3 so far, said as the defending district champion Lovington is probably the team to beat.
“I think both Portales and Lovington have played tough schedules,” he said. “We probably have the weakest predistict schedule of the three.“I’d have to give Lovington the nod (in the district race) until somebody beats them.”
Portales was on a bit of a roll before last weekend’s Lady Dog Invitational at Artesia. The Lady Rams lost 13-3 to the host team in Friday’s opening round, then fell to Roswell Goddard 4-3 and Roswell High 12-9 in consolation contests on Saturday.
However, they trailed Artesia just 4-3 until the sixth inning in Friday’s game and were ahead late in both outings on Saturday.
“We did well, but in each game we just had one bad inning that we couldn’t overcome,” Crowley said.