By Dave Wagner, Freedom Newspapers
CLOVIS — In her last game at Lady Wildcat Complex, Clovis High’s Jordan Garrett went out with a bang.
Unfortunately for her South squad, Garrett made about the only noise for her team on Saturday in the finale of a three-game New Mexico High School Coaches Association all-star series.
Garrett came off the bench in the fifth inning, led off the sixth with a triple up the left-center field alley and then raced home on a short sacrifice fly to center by Cobre’s Alyssa Vargas. That was the South’s only run in a 9-1 loss as the North completed a series sweep.
The North’s pitching dominated, holding the South to one run in each game.
“It was disappointing,” Garrett admitted of not getting a win in the series, “but I still think we played well. It was so much fun, regardless of whether we win or lose.”
Garrett’s play earned her South MVP honors for the weekend, while pitcher-outfielder Maddie Machac of Sandia was selected the North’s MVP.
“I thought maybe I wasn’t going to get an at-bat (on Saturday),” said Garrett, who recently signed to play next year at Volunteer State (Tenn.) Community College. “It was real nice to be able to step in and make a good hit like that.”
The South held its own for three innings behind the pitching of Portales’ Sasha Parker, but two throwing errors opened the door for a two-run fourth that gave the North control.
“We just had some miscommunication,” said Parker, who allowed three hits, walked one and struck out none in her four innings. “Other than that, we did pretty good.
“(The team) bonded right away. It just feels like a normal team that I’ve played with all the time.”
The North erupted for five runs in the fifth, highlighted by backup catcher Samantha Davis’ two-run double.
The South finished the game with five errors.
“When you put the ball in play, things can happen,” said North coach Randy Hunt of Laguna-Acoma. “Who would think some routine outs would turn into big innings for us?”
The South had a chance to jump on top early, but left two runners on in each of the first two innings against Estancia’s Kayla Dominguez. She then worked a 1-2-3 third, and the South had only two runners over four innings against reliever Emily Huhta of Manzano.
Davis, of Piedra Vista, finished with three RBIs, adding a run-scoring single in the sixth and a walk in the seventh. Huhta singled in all four at-bats, including two infield hits, while Machac doubled and tripled in her final two times up on Saturday after pitching a complete game in Friday’s nightcap.
“We played hard,” said South coach Rodney Pollard of Las Cruces High. “They (North) had some talented kids. Hats off to those kids.
“This (South All-Stars) was a good bunch of young ladies. They never got down on themselves.”