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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Former Eagle Herrera faces Olympic team

Former Pecos Eagles softball player Stephanie Herrera got a chance to play against the U.S. Olympic Softball Team on Sunday, playing for the New Mexico State University Lobos in an exhibition game against the Olympic team in Las Cruces, N.M.

The U.S. National Team ended up with a 21-0 victory. Herrera was held hitless in the game, but did turn a double play in the first inning of Sunday’s exhibition game.

“I was so excited when we turned that double-play. Being able to step on second and turn and get her (Natasha Watley) out at first was great,” Herrera said. “I went to their summer camp eight years ago and I never thought I would get to play against this team and against some of the greatest players in my sport.

“Not very many players get the chance to say that they played the US National Team and it is something I am going to remember for the rest of my life.”

Herrera, who was an all-district player for Pecos at pitcher and shortstop for four seasons, currently leads the Western Athletic Conference in batting in her senior season at NMSU with a .402 average and 47 hits in 117 at-bats. That includes three doubles along with 14 stolen bases in 16 attempts.

The U.S. Olympic Softball Team is playing college teams across the country this spring, visiting 45 cities in preparation for the 2008 Olympics this summer in Beijing , China. The U.S. team is seeking its third straight Olympic gold medal.

Pecos girls even district record with 20-2 win over Presidio

The Pecos Eagle girls’ softball team had another easy game against the Presidio Blue Devils on Friday, and got back to the .500 level in District 2-3A play.

The Eagles scored five times in the top of the first inning in Presidio, then scored six times in both the third and fourth innings on the way to a 20-2 win over the Blue Devils. Gabby Garcia had a no-hitter in going the distance, losing her shut out on a couple walks and wild pitches that allowed Presidio to score with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, just before the game ended under the 10-run rule.

The Eagles got to pitcher Ashley Gonzales early, with Brittany Palomino and Ally Salcido opening the game with singles. Walks to Diana Parada and Garcia then forced home the game’s first run, and the Eagles made it 2-0 on a single by Aileen Rayos. Two more runs scored off an error on a Jayme Galindo grounder, and the fifth run of the inning game in on an error off a Marlene Salgado grounder.

A single by Palomino opened the second inning, and she would score on a sacrifice fly by Parada. Garcia then singled and went to third on an error, where she scored off an infield hit by Rayos for a 7-0 lead.

In the third, Pecos loaded the bases when Galindo reached on an error, Salgado walked and Lily Jaramillo singled. Palomino walked to force home Pecos’ eighth run, Salcido followed with a two run single and Parada then hit her fifth home run of the season, a three-run shot that gave Pecos a 13-0 lead.

The Eagles would score once more in the inning, and then batted around in the fourth for their final six runs. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils did get a runner to third in the first inning before finally breaking through in the fifth, but managed only three batted balls in the game, one of which was turned into an inning-ending line drive double play by Salgado in the fourth.

The win lifted Pecos to 11-13 on the season and 3-3 in district at the two-third point of the 2-3A schedule. The Eagles are off on Tuesday but will host Monahans on Friday, with the Loboes looking to clinch their third straight district title with a victory. Pecos can clinch second place with a win over Monahans and a victory next week over Fort Stockton.

Crockett 7th grade boys place first at district JH track meet

The Crockett Junior High seventh grade boys track team came away with first place on Friday, at the District 2-3A junior high track meet, while Crockett’s eighth grade girls placed second and the seventh and eighth grade boys were third in the four-team meet, held at Eagle Stadium.

The seventh grade boys scored 199 points to 191 1/2 for second place Monahans, while winning seven gold medals on the day. Four of those were from Devante Jenkins, who took the 100 and 200 meter dashes with times of 12.05 and 25.40, after earlier winning the long jump, with a 16-feet-9 effort, and the triple jump, with a 33-feet-8 leap.

Anthony Natividad and Justin Thornton had Pecos’ other individual first place finishes, with Natividad winning the 1600 meter run with a 5:55.06 time and Thornton taking the discus with a throw of 95-feet-8 3/4 inches. The other first was by the 400-meter relay team of Jenkins, Zack Ramirez, Michael Carrasco and Joey Villaneuva, which won with a 50.66 time. Israel Ramirez was second to Natividad in the 1600 meter run, while Natividad was second in the 2400 meters. Other medals for the Eagles included a second place finish by Damien Perea and a third by Thornton in the 200 meter dash; a second by Carrasco in the 400 meters; a second by Luke Holt in the 110 meter hurdles and a third in the 300 meter hurdles; a tie for second by George Herndon in the pole vault; a third by Ryan Mendoza in the 800 meters; a third by Kyle Treadwell in the shot put; and a second by the Eagles’ 800 meter relay team and a third by the 1600 meter team.

Other points for the boys included a fourth and a sixth by Joshua Enmon in the 400 meter and 100 meter races; a fourth by Bradley Shaw in the 110 meter hurdles and a sixth in the 300 meter hurdles; a fourth by Thornton in the high jump and the 300 hurdles, a fourth by Tyler Davis in the 2400 meters; a fifth by Treadwell in the discus; a fifth by Elijah Jones in the shot put; and a sixth by Zack Ramirez in the triple jump.

Crockett’s eighth grade girls lost by 14 points to Monahans for first, finishing with 196 points to 210 for the Loboes. The eighth graders picked up seven gold medals, including two each by Emily Rodriguez, who won the 400 meter dash with a 1:08.56 time and took the 800 meters in 2:45.90, and Kebbah Darpolar, who won the discus with a throw of 76-feet-2 1/2 inches and took the shot put with a 42-feet-8 throw. The Eagles also got a first from Annalisa Gonzales, who won the 200 meter dash with a 29.03 time, Sabrina Moya, who won the 1600 meters with a 6:15.65 time, and Alexcia Mendoza, who won the pole vault by clearing 8-feet.

Rodriguez also had a second in the high jump, while Gonzales was second in the triple jump. The Eagles also had medals from Tori Garcia, third in the 200 meter dash; Valerie Madrid, third in the 100 meter hurdles; Krystal Carrasco, third in the 1600 meter run; Marissa Tarango, third in the high jump; Courtney Henson, third in the pole vault; along with seconds by the 800 and 1600 meter relay teams and a third by the 400 meter relay team

Other points for the girls included a fifth by Garcia and a sixth by Annie Cerna in the 400 meters; a fifth b Garcia in the long jump; a fourth by Jenica Tercero in the 1600 meters and a fifth in the 2400 meters; and a fifth by Karina Quintana in the shot put.

The seventh grade girls ended up with 129 points in a division won by Fort Stockton with 227 points. Pecos picked up two gold medals from Katrina Maldondo, who took the 1600-meter run with a 6:30.77 time and the 2400 meters with a 10:31.66 time, along with a first from Vanessa Munoz in the pole vault, with a 6-foot-6 effort.

Pecos had a second from Megan Molina in that event, and from Lucero Sandoval in the 800 meter run, Kimberly Herrera in the discus and Megan Apolinar in the 2400 meters. The, and a third from Sandoval in the long jump and by the 1600-meter relay team.

The girls also had a fourth from Maldonado in the triple jump; a fourth by Vivi Vargas and a fifth from Molina in the 100 meter dash; a fourth from Gaby Nichols in the 100 meter hurdles; a sixth from Teri Jaso in the 200 meters a fourth from Sandoval and a sixth from Vargas in the 400 meters; a fourth from Apolinar in the 1600 meters and fourths from the 400 and 800 meter relay teams.

The eighth grade boys finished with 120 points in their division, which was won by Monahans. Pecos had three first places on the day, from Chase Price, who took the 110-meter high hurdles with an 18.49 time, Gregory Roman, who won the 2400 meters with an 8:40.40 time, and from Luis Villescas, who won the high jump with an 8-foot-6 vault. Price also finished second in the 300-meter hurdles and the high jump while Roman was second in the 1600 meters.

Also finishing second for the Eagles was Angel Medrano in the discus. The boys also picked up third place medals from the 400, 800 and 1600 meter relay teams and from Arturo Villa in the discus, and Tyler Ramos in the shot put.

Other points for Pecos came from a fourth by Ramos in the discus, a fourth by Pedro Cano in the 100 meter dash; a fourth by Alex Montano in the shot put; a fourth by Israel Espudo and a sixth by Jared Rodriguez in the 200 meters; a fourth by John Terrazas and a fifth by Geronimo Ornelas in the 400 meters; a fourth by C.J. Gomez in the pole vault, and a sixth by Eddie Pando in the triple jump.

Bunts, walks, errors carry Eagles past Panthers, Wildcats

The Pecos Eagles finally got their bats going late in Saturday night’s game against the Fabens Wildcats. But even before then, the Eagles had used a combination of pitching and “small ball” to grab the lead on Fabens Saturday, and come up with a win in the bottom of the seventh inning on Friday night in their District 2-3A game against the Fort Stockton Panthers.

Walks, bunts and hit batters helped the Eagles up their district record to 3-1 on Friday with a 2-1 victory over Fort Stockton, while the same combination allowed Pecos to jump out to a 7-1 lead the following night against Fabens, before a series of fifth inning hits broke things open and sent Pecos on to a 12-3 win over the Wildcats, in their final non-district game of the 2008 season.

Isaiah Vela improved to 4-0 on the season on Friday, allowing only an unearned run in the sixth inning and then getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh. “That’s about the fourth game he’s started that he’s held his opponent in check,” Eagles’ coach Eric Garcia said of Vela, who is 2-0 in district after opening with a win over Presidio.

The only run off Vela came on a one-out double by Jeremiah Vela in the top of the sixth inning. That scored Alan Mendez, who had singled to open the inning and went to second after being caught off first, when shortstop Lucas Chavez couldn’t handle the throw from catcher J.R. Lujan.

Vela came back to strike out the next two batters to end the inning and got the first to hitters in the top of the seventh before M.J. Gonzales and Jeremy Martinez blooped singles to right field. Mendez then walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases, but Vela came back to retire Julio Martinez on a grounder to second baseman Tony Reyes to end the inning.

The Eagles, who had taken a 1-0 lead in the second on singles by James Garcia and Tony Reyes, then won the game in the seventh thanks to a hit batter, two bunts and a bases-loaded walk by pitcher Francisco Jaquez to Chris Sotelo that forced in the winning run.

Pinch hitter Geno Leos was hit in the back by Jaquez’s first pitch, and Joseph Ontiveros followed by pushing a bunt past the mound that third baseman Jeremiah Vela fielded, but dropped for an error. Reyes was up next, and he laid down a bunt up the third base line that Jaquez had no play on, as it stayed just inside the chalk line. That loaded the bases for Sotelo, who got ahead in the count, then had to foul off one two-strike pitch before Jaquez came in with a high fastball for ball four, forcing home Leos with the winning run.

“We tried a few bunts and hit-and-runs earlier in the game and we couldn’t move the runners over to second. Luckily we did execute in the bottom of the seventh with the bunts by Joseph and Tony,” Garcia said.

Friday was the first game for Sotelo in the regular batting order since the start of district play, and the first game in district for Leos, who regained his eligibility on Friday and started on the mound Saturday against Fabens. The senior ran into some control problems, but went five innings to pick up the win, and started the bottom of the fifth by homering over the trees in leftfield against Fabens reliever Albert Villalobos.

The Eagles didn’t get a hit in the first inning, but still managed to score four runs. Chavez reached when shortstop Carlos Garcia dropped his line drive, and starter Freddy Vega then walked Vincent Palomino and hit Timo Reyes with a pitch Garcia threw out Palomino at third on a J.R. Lujan grounder, with Chavez scored, and Reyes would come home later on a wild pitch by Vega on a walk to Leos.

Manager Elias Payan replaced Vega with Villalobos after Lujan scored on a passed ball by Ben Loya, but the Eagles then worked a double-steal following a walk to Ontiveros, as pinch-runner Isaiah Patino stole home to make it a 4-1 game.

Fabens had used a walk to Enrique Nunez, a stolen base and an infield hit by Travis Garay to set up their first run in the top of the inning, as Nunez scored when Tony Reyes throw from second got past Sal Baez at first base.

Villalobos made it through the second inning without problems, but in the third Timo Reyes blooped a single to second and scored on a bad pickoff throw by Villalobos, after Lujan was hit by a pitch. He scored on James Garcia’s RBI single to make it 6-1, and after singles by Ontiveros and Tony Reyes another bases-loaded walk to Sotelo forced home a run and made it 7-0.

Fabens then used four walks by Leos and a single by Loya to score twice in the top of the fourth inning, cutting Pecos’ lead to four. Villalobos then retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning, but Leos came back to strike out the side in the top of the fifth, then connected on his solo homer to start off the bottom of the inning.

“Geno pitched pretty good. He lost a little control, but I think that’s expected when you’re coming back from such a long break,” said Garcia. “And we also got a chance to get Gerald (Saenz) back in there to get some work, in case we need him later on.”

Ontiveros and Tony Reyes followed Leos’ homer with infield hits, and Garay then threw away Sotelo’s grounder to second, trying for a force on Reyes. That scored Ontiveros, and after Chavez lined out, Reyes scored on an infield hit by Eli Valenzuela, and Timo Reyes then doubled to right-center to make it a 12-3 game.

Stephen Estrada relieved Villalobos after that, and got out of the inning. He also retired the side in order in the sixth, but Pecos Saenz would retire six of the seven batters he faced to close out the game.

The win was the third this season for Pecos over Fabens, and lifted the Eagles’ record to 16-5-1 on the season going into the game on Tuesday night in Presidio against the Blue Devils. Presidio lost on Friday at Monahans, 6-3, as the Loboes remained tied with the Eagles for first in the district standings at 3-1, while the Blue Devils are a game behind, at 2-2.

“We didn’t adjust too well at first when we saw a slower pitcher, but we started hitting tonight, and I think that will give us some confidence going into Tuesday’s game,” Garcia said. Garcia said Palomino, 5-2, would start Tuesday against Presidio. He pitched both games against the Blue Devils in Presidio last season, winning once on a no-hitter, 3-0, while losing by a 3-1 score in the other start.

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