Stevens Tosses 2-Hitter In Huge 1-5A Victory
Rio Rancho got closer the second time around, but a softball victory by Volcano Vista on Wednesday further solidified the Hawks' position at the top of the District 1-5A race with one week of regular-season play to go.
Volcano Vista (18-2, 5-0) beat the Rams 3-1 in Rio Rancho behind a twohitter from Kelsey Stevens. "She did a nice job. She got our kids to swing at bad pitches," Rio Rancho coach Paul Kohman said. "We just didn't make the adjustments. Maybe next time we'll adjust and win."
The second-ranked Hawks grabbed the lead in the top of the first with a pair of runs. A Rio Rancho (12-10, 3-2) error was followed by a string of hits for Volcano Vista as Alex Marquez, Katera Eltsosie and Monique Cotinola all singled.
Eltsosie and Cotinala's hits were run-producing singles as Volcano Vista went up 2-0.
Shelby Pendley was the starting pitcher for No. 4-ranked Rio Rancho and she sliced the lead in half by whacking a solo homer in the third inning.
But the Hawks got an insurance run in the top of the sixth as a single by Eltsosie led eventually to her scoring when Marley Pinon's infield hit pushed the lead back up to two at 3-1.
That was enough for Stevens, a junior who also was the pitcher of record when Volcano Vista beat Rio Rancho 7-1 last week.
With Stevens and standout pitcher Eltsosie at her disposal, Volcano Vista coach Cheryl Johnson decided to stick with the formula of the first meeting between the two teams.
"That's exactly what happened," Johnson said. "I was going to change it up (and pitch Eltsosie), but I thought, `No, it worked last time. We'll just do it again.' "
"It's hard to win a ball game when you have that many errors (four) and you get only two hits," Kohman said. "And Volcano Vista has a nice team. They took advantage of opportunities and we didn't."
The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but pushed back a day because of strong winds. "It was breezy today, but 25 mile an hour gusts you can still play," Kohman said. "55 mile an hour gusts, well that doesn't do anybody any good."
SCHEDULE: Today, Rio Rancho plays host to Cleveland at Eagle Ridge Middle School, while Cibola is at Volcano Vista. Both begin at 4 p.m. On Saturday, Rio Rancho is at Cibola, and Volcano Vista goes to Cleveland, both at 10 a.m.
There is action on Tuesday and Thursday of next week as well. On Tuesday, it's Cleveland at Cibola and Rio Rancho at Volcano Vista. Next Thursday, it's Cibola at Volcano Vista and Cleveland at Rio Rancho.
The playoff field in softball will not be announced until next weekend.