By Dave Wagner
Billy Page would probably like to take a mulligan on the first inning of Tuesday’s District 4-3A-opening doubleheader against Portales at the PHS field.
Actually, make that the first game.
PHS jumped on the Lady Warriors for 10 first-inning runs and belted out 18 hits in rolling to a 21-6 victory, halted in the bottom of the fourth because of a 15-run rule that goes into effect after the third inning.
Ruidoso (6-7, 0-2) played much more creditably in the nightcap, losing 5-1.
“We showed up in the second game — about an hour and a half too late,” Page said. “But I can’t take anything away from Portales. The ‘big red machine’ strikes again, I guess you could say.”
Shareesa Nusser’s three-run double and winning pitcher Sasha Parker’s two-run single highlighted the first-inning onslaught for the Lady Rams (13-7, 2-0). Ruidoso answered with five in the top of the second, but Portales countered with six in the bottom of the second and four more in the third.
“We had our bad inning early,” PHS coach Robbie Crowley said. “But we were aggressive, and we hit the ball really well in the first game.”
Shortstop Sabrina Villaneuva went 3-for-5, scoring four runs and droving in two, while first baseman Ashleah Richards added 3-for-3 and a couple of RBIs. Villaneuva, Richards, Santana Brito and Danielle Vasquez each had a triple in the game, while Parker, Amanda Terry and Jessica Adkins all had two hits.
Meantime, Ruidoso contributed five errors to the fray.
“We had a mental block, I guess,” Page said. “We’re going to have to be able to step up and play.
“You’ve just got to be able to do the routine things.”
Parker allowed three hits in four innings, with two walks and seven strikeouts. She got four strikeouts in the third inning, with one victim reaching base on a third-strike passed ball.
The second game was much more according to form, but the Lady Rams did all the damage they needed in the first when they collected three runs on four hits off Ruidoso pitcher Apollonia “Pony” Page, Billy Page’s daughter.
Villaneuva whacked a run-scoring double and eventually came home on a fielder’s choice grounder by Richards. Richards scored the third run of the inning on a single by Brito.
Pony Page pitched relatively well after that, allowing only three hits over the final five innings. Portales made it 4-0 in the second on Nusser’s RBI single, and got its final run in the fifth on a leadoff triple by catcher Sara Silver and an error.
Nusser, meantime, didn’t allow a hit for 4 2/3 innings and finished with a two-hitter, walking four and striking out eight.
Adriana Ramos led off the Ruidoso fifth with a walk and came around on two wild pitches and a passed ball.
Nusser led the seven-hit PHS attack, going 2-for-3.
“I’m proud of the kids,” Crowley said. “They stepped up and played well today.”
Portales has only three doubleheaders left in the regular season, all in district play. The Lady Rams play their home finale against Lovington on Tuesday, then make trips to Ruidoso on April 28 and Lovington on April 30.
Portales 21, Ruidoso 6
Ruidoso 0 51 0 — 6 3 5
Portales (10)64 1 —21 18 2
Apollonia Page and Rachel Adaza; Sasha Parker and Sara Silva. W — Parker. L — Page. DP — Ruidoso 1. LOB — Ruidoso 1, Portales 8. 2B — Portales: Shareesa Nusser. 3B — Portales: Sabrina Villaneuva, Santana Brito, Danielle Vasquez, Ashleah Richards. T — 1:25.
Portales 5, Ruidoso 1
Ruidoso 000 010 0 — 1 2 4
Portales 310 010 x — 5 7 1
Page and Adaza; Nusser and Silva. W — Nusser. L — Page. LOB — Ruidoso 5, Portales 9. 2B — Potales: Villaneuva. 3B — Portales: Silva. T — 1:31.