The field was adorned with three large white ribbons painted in the outfield as Clovis and Roswell finally squared off in a doubleheader to benefit the American Cancer Society.
But it was debatable whether the Clovis Wildcats, dressed in yellow uniforms for the event, benefitted much in dropping two games, 9-4 and 20-9, at the Lady Wildcats softball park on Thursday.
Clovis (5-9) will begin district play with a trip to traditional power Carlsbad on Saturday. The 'Cats ended their non-district slate by letting a 6-0 early lead slip away in the nightcap.
Roswell (13-7), which came within a game of playing for the Class 4A championship last year, chipped away at the deficit before blowing by the Wildcats in the last two innings. Trailing 7-6, the Coyotes rallied for eight runs in the sixth and seven more in the seventh to complete the sweep.
"Art just does a really good job. They just have a good team," said Clovis coach Brandi Thomas of Roswell counterpart Art Sandoval. "He's well-disciplined and works really hard. My concern is when they put Raquel (Grajeda) in, that kind of scared me."
Grajeda entered the second game and immediately halted Clovis' progress for a split. The Coyotes went with sophomore Jessica Zamora to start the second.
The host 'Cats immediately jumped on Zamora with three runs in both the first and second innings. The hitting highlights for Clovis included a two-run single by Cassie Nelson in the first, a double by Dakota Foreman in the second and a triple stroked by Brittany Mascarenas to deep right that scored two runs.
Starting in the third, however, Roswell began to time the pitches of Clovis senior Adrianna Aguilar. Although Aguilar had given up 12 hits in the opener, she started the nightcap by keeping the Coyotes off the board in the first two frames.
With increasing frequency, Roswell connected with sharply-hit balls as the second game wore on. Trailing by a run entering the top of the six, the Coyotes had six hits to account for their eight-run rally — off Aguilar and reliever Elena Wimberly — to surge to an 13-7 advantage.
Meanwhile Grajeda, in relief, got her first ten Clovis batters out and that included seven strike outs.
"That's where our mentality has to be better," Thomas said.
"We said, 'Hey, Clovis is a good ball team,' and we didn't want to waste any time," Sandoval said. "We had to bring back the ace and stop them a little bit."
The doubleheader was originally scheduled for Saturday, but cancelled due to high winds. It was windy again on Thursday early in the day before weather conditions calmed down toward the end of the twinbill.
"Hopefully, it went well enough," said Thomas of the revenue raised for the fight against cancer. "We got some winds and didn't get the crowd turn-out we were hoping for. I haven't seen the results, but I'm hoping."
ROSWELL 12, CLOVIS 5
Roswell 210 510 0 - 9 12 1
Clovis 000 100 3 - 4 5 1
Pitching: R, Desean Vanardo and Ashley Tavarez; C, Adrianna Aguilar and Kayla Merritt. Win: Vanardo. Loss: Aguilar. Leading Hitters: R, Raquel Grajeda 3-3 HR 3RBI, Jacky Garcia 2-3 3B 1RBI, Brianna Lopez 3-4 3B; C, Jasiman Dykes 2-3, Brittany Mascarenas 1-3 3B 2RBI, Steffanee Ricketson 2-4, Charolette Varney 2-3. Rec.: R 12-7; C 5-8.
ROSWELL 20, CLOVIS 9
Pitching: R, Jacky Garcia, Raquel Grajeda (2) and Tiffanie Bolanos; C, Adrianna Aguilar, Elena Wimberly (6), Aguilar (7) and Kayla Meritt. Win: Grajeda. Loss: Aguilar. Leading Hitters: R, Grajeda 5-5 3RBI, Ashley Tavarez 4-4 2B, Garcia 2-4 2RBI; C, Brittany Mascarenas 1-3 3B 2RBI, Dakota Foreman 2-4 2B, Steffanee Ricketson 1-4 3B 2RBI. R 13-7; C 5-9.xxx