Portales girls start Lubbock tourney with two wins

PNT Staff Report

The Portales Sun Devils 10-and-under girls fast-pitch softball team won their first two games in pool play at the Regional softball tournament in Lubbock and earned a bye in the first round of bracket play.

The Sun Devils beat the Hobbs Rangers 16-3 late Friday night in the first game of pool play and head coach Ben Rodriguez says his girls came ready to hit the ball.

“That was just a hitting game,” head coach Ben Rodriguez said. “Our girls came through with the bats, nearly every girl had a hit and that’s what helped us put this game away.”

The Portales girls then beat the Lubbock Blue Angels Saturday morning in the second game of pool play, 12-2.

“We kind of started slow,” Rodriguez said. “But it was a hitter’s game there at the end and we pulled it out. Once these girls get going, nothing stops them.”

Kassandra Rodriguez did her part in both wins, connecting for an in-the-park grand slam in Friday night’s win and a solo homer in the Sun Devils’ saturday game.

Ashlie Villanueva also played a key role in both wins from the mound.

“She pitched good,” Rodriguez said. “She struck out a bunch of girls in both games.”

The two wins in pool play earned the Portales girls a bye in the first round of bracket play before playing a second-round game late Saturday night.

“If we come together, hitting-wise, I don’t think there’s a team that can stop us,” Rodriguez said. “Our offense is showing up, our defense is showing up and our bats are coming through. We’ve got a chance. Every team has a down game, but I hope that doesn’t happen to us right now.”