PORTALES — Once they got rolling, it didn't take the Portales Lady Rams long to take control of Friday's matchup with Clovis.
Sophomore catcher Simone Laurenz rocketed a leadoff homer to center field to break a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the third, sparking a six-run inning that sent the unbeaten Lady Rams to a 13-3 win in Portales in a game called in the bottom of the fifth on the 10-run lead rule.
"I wasn't aware of the score," Laurenz said. "(Coach Robbie) Crowley always tells us to just go up and not be afraid in the (batter's) box."
Teammate Sorina Flores also went 4-for-4 for Portales (6-0), which added five runs in the fourth and ended it with an unearned tally in the bottom of the fifth. Portales finished with 15 hits.
"We're hitting the ball well right now," said Crowley, also noting a solid defensive effort by her team. "I don't know if defense feeds off offense or offense feeds off defense, but we made some plays in the field that were great."
Simone's sister, senior pitcher Kelsey Laurenz, didn't have a strikeout in the contest, but finished with a six-hitter and let the defense take care of things. It was the 39th consecutive game the sisters have been the Lady Rams' battery, dating to the start of last season.
"It's awesome to play with her," Simone Laurenz said. "I think me and Kelsey just love softball so much."
Simone Laurenz, who also had an RBI single to cap the third-inning eruption, wasn't concerned with her sister's lack of strikeouts.
"She's relying more on her defense now," she said. "I think she's just relaxed."
Clovis (3-9) tied the game on freshman A.J. Wright's two-out RBI single in the top of the third. The Lady Wildcats temporarily kept the game alive by plating two runs in the top of the fifth when four consecutive hitters reached base — three hits and an error — after two were out.
Lady Cats coach Brandi Thomas was concerned about her team's five errors on defense.
"They're going to get their hits," she said of the Lady Rams, "but we needed to come up with more plays when they hit the ball at us."
Andrea Aguilar, Wright and Lyndsi LeClear each had two of Clovis' six hits.
"They put the ball in play, and they made us make plays," Crowley said.
The Lady Rams were a bit of a surprise last spring when they reached the Class 3A state finals. Needless to say, they're hopeful of getting there again.
"It's definitely a goal," Simone Laurenz said. "It's everything we work for."
So far, so good.
"You always have things you need to work on," Crowley said. "But I'm pleased with the way the girls are playing and the way they're hitting the ball."