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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Wednesday, Apil 3, 2002

Eagles knock out Lions; stay unbeaten in district

Staff Writer
It may not have been Pete Rose colliding with Ray Fosse in the 10th inning of the 1970 All-Star Game, but the collision at home plate between Pecos Eagles' baserunner Stephanie Herrera and Clint Lions' catcher Jessica Zuniga was about as hard a one as you're going to see in girls softball, and produced just about the same results.

The ball arrived at home plate just a fraction of a second before Herrera, as she tried to score from first base on Rebecca Wein's third inning double Tuesday afternoon at Martinez Field. The result was a head-on collision that put the Lions' catcher down on the ground for about five minutes, before leaving the game with a slight concussion and a bruised shoulder. The crash also allowed the ball to bounce far enough away for Wein to circle the bases.

The play itself turned what had been a 3-0 Pecos lead into a 5-0 advantage, and the Eagles went on to defeat the Lions by a 10-0 score in five innings, to remain unbeaten in the District 2-4A standings.

Herrera stayed in the game after the collision, and ended up three-hitting Clint for her 10th victory in 11 decisions this season, while the Eagles collected seven hits off the Lions' Jenny Parada and won the game in the fifth on a passed ball and throwing error by Zuniga's replacement, Gloria Victorino.

"I thought it was a pretty good game for us. We came back and hit the ball better this game, and I felt like we did a good job getting runners in. We didn't leave as many people on base this time."

Baserunning was probably the Eagles' biggest problem on the day, though it didn't cost them any runs on Tuesday the way it had last week in their 3-1 win over San Elizario. Jessica Rodriguez failed to tag up on Wein's first inning fly ball, but was still able to go back to third base and then score before centerfielder Pearl Lesilde's throw got to home plate.

In the third, Brittany Lobstein failed to go to third base when Yvette Maldonado booted Herrera's grounder for an error, which set up the play at home plate when Wein doubled into the gap in left-centerfield. Herrera didn't slide at home plate, which under UIL rules can get a player both called out and ejected from the game, but Walls said the rules also say the catcher has to have the ball in order to block home plate.

"I think the girl moved into Stephanie, but if she had been there with the ball Stephanie would have had to have made an attempt to slide, but she moved into Stephanie," the Eagles' coach said.

Pecos would add another run before the inning was over, on a walk to Neftali Salgado and a bloop double by Danielle Garcia, and in the fourth Wein would get her fourth and fifth RBIs of the afternoon, singling home Lobstein and Herrera after an error and single and put them back on base.

Maldonado then almost put Victorino in the same position as Zuniga, when with two outs and Wein on third base she opted to throw home on Salgado's grounder instead of going to first base for the east final out of the inning. Wein beat the throw home with far less of a collision at the plate to make it 9-0, and the Eagles ended the game in the fifth under the 10-run rule when Parada walked the first two batters of the inning, then saw Mari Mendoza move to third base on a passed ball and score when Victorino's throw got by third baseman Clarissa Arnold.

Meanwhile, Herrera allowed three hits on the afternoon while striking out 10. Marissa Arnold had two of the three hits, a first inning single and a fourth inning double, while Maldonado singled with two outs in the third.

Arnold got to second base with two outs in the first when Salgado bobbled her single in left field and got as far as third base in the fourth inning, but Clint's best chance to score was probably with one out in the second, after Victorino walked. Nancy Almanza hit a shot to left field that almost got over Salgado's head, but she was able to reach up and catch the ball, and then doubled Victorino off first base to end the inning.

"Stephanie pitched a good game, Becca had a good game, and Neftali and Brittany had good games," said Walls, whose team improved to 10-3 on the season and 6-0 in District 2-4A. Clint, which like Pecos is seeking its fourth straight trip to the playoffs, fell to 2-4 in district, and trail both San Elizario and Canutillo in the race for the final two playoff berths.

The Eagles will head west on Friday for what figures to be an interesting game against Fabens. Walls said Herrera and centerfielder Bre'Ann Windham will miss the game due to church activities, and Garcia would probably start on the mound for the first time since early in the season.

Eagles jump on Lobos early in 8-1 win

For the second game in a row, the Pecos Eagles lost their shutout with two outs in the seventh inning. But unlike last Thursday in Pecos, this time, the Eagles didn't come close to losing their lead or the game to the El Paso Mountain View Lobos.

Pecos, which saw a 4-0 lead with two outs in the seventh turn into a 5-4 extra inning win at Canutillo last week, saw Mountain View spoil the shutout on Tuesday when Barney Rodriguez wild pitched home a run with two outs in the seventh inning. But that only moved the Lobos to within eight runs of the Eagles, and Rodriguez then got a fly out to left field to clinch Pecos' 9-1 victory.

"He pitched well enough to win, but he's still not the Barney from last year. His arm's a little sore," said Williams of Rodriguez, who had a solo home run as part of a three-hit day at bat, to go along with his five-hit pitching effort which improved the junior's record to 6-1 on the season.

Mountain View, which got a shutout from pitcher Manny Cervantes against Canutillo a week ago, opted to go with pitcher David Sanchez on the mound Tuesday, and he was touched for eight runs in the first three innings, before Rodriguez' home run to left field in the seventh.

"We put our subs in in the fourth inning and let everybody play, or we could have scored more on them" said Williams. "Even so we didn't play up to the way we're capable of playing. We played well enough to win, but we've still got a lot of room for improvement."

Mountain View's infield defense was better this year than in their winless 2001 campaign, but the Lobos still have defensive problems in the outfield. In the first inning Richard Rodriguez reached on an error by centerfielder Alex Luna, then stole second and scored when catcher Juan Rodriguez' throw got past second base and then past Luna in the outfield. A single by Mason Abila and a Freddy Torres ground out later in the inning gave Pecos a 2-0 lead.

In the second Capi Magana led off with a double, moved to third on Barney Rodriguez' infield hit and scored on a bad pickoff throw by Sanchez. Matthew Levario's bloop single then scored courtesy runner Ruvel Carrasco, and David Elkins doubled Levario home to make it 5-0.

In the third Rigo Ramirez ended up with an inside-the-park home run, as his shot got past a diving Steven Corral in left field and down the line to the 355-foot sign, allowing Ramirez too circle the bases behind Torres, who opened the inning with a single. Barney Rodriguez' second single, followed by two more Lobo errors, got the third run of the inning home and made the score 8-0.

Mountain View's Ben Cardenas and Sanchez picked up first inning hits off Rodriguez, while Cervantes was walked by the pitcher, but he kept out of trouble by picking Cardenas off first base, while in the second he got Cardenas to ground out to the mound with two outs, after allowing a walk to Luna and a single to Eddie Alva.

The win lifted Pecos to 4-0 in district play and to 16-4 on the season, after starting off the year with a 4-4 mark. The Eagles will close out the first half of their 2-4A schedule on Friday afternoon with a trip to San Elizario to face the Eagles.

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Pecos Enterprise
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