By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
Brandi Thomas didn’t want to end the day on a sour note.
Freshman pitcher Tisa Forrest made sure she and the rest of her Clovis High teammates wouldn’t, pitching the Lady Wildcats past Portales 4-1 Friday night for a first-day split in the season-opening Clovis Invitational round-robin softball tournament at Lady Wildcat Complex.
Hobbs blanked Clovis 11-0 in the second game of the day, after Portales shut out Lovington 12-0 in the opener. The tourney concludes with three more games today.
Making her varsity debut, Forrest blanked the Lady Rams until surrendering an unearned run in the top of the seventh. Meantime, Clovis put together just enough offense, helped by a two-run fifth without benefit of a hit.
“We came out scared in that first game, and it showed,” Thomas said. “Tisa threw well. She was nervous, being her first varsity game, and she started getting tired at the end, but she stepped up.”
Jordan Garrett’s single and Cynthia Lucio’s double off Portales junior Sharissa Nusser put the Lady Cats in front in the first. Then catcher Nichole Holguin singled, took second on a wild pitch, was sacrificed to third by Angelica Serna and scored on another wild pitch in the second for a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth, Maria Gallegos reached on a third-strike passed ball and eventually scored on Garrett’s squeeze bunt. Garrett, who was safe on the play, eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Nusser allowed just four hits, with two walks and 10 strikeouts.
Portales rolled over Lovington in the day’s first game on a five-inning no-hitter by junior Sasha Parker.
“I still have five kids in basketball, so I’m pleased,” Lady Rams coach Robbie Crowley said. “I was worried about our hitting come in. The first game we hit well; the second game we didn’t, but I think that’s coming around.”
Hobbs jumped on Clovis for all of its runs in the first two innings, including an eight-run second against Rochelle Urban.
“Rochelle did a great job, but I have to give it to Hobbs; they’ve come around,” Thomas said. “Hobbs is hitting the ball better than any of us right now.”
Lady Eagles pitcher Chelsey Drummond tossed a five-inning two-hitter, with one walk and 10 strikeouts. Clovis’ only hits were a single by Garrett in the first and a triple by Teshia Lujan in the fifth.
At Lady Wildcat Complex
Portales 12, Lovington 0
Hobbs 11, Clovis 0
Clovis 4, Portales 1
Lovington vs. Hobbs, 10 a.m.
Portales vs. Hobbs, noon
Clovis vs. Lovington, 2 p.m.