Belen softball edges Academy in seventh inning
The Lady Eagle softball team finished in third place at last weekend’s Lady Sundevil Invite at Sandia Prep in Albuquerque with a thrilling 8-7 win over Albuquerque Academy on Saturday.
“This is only our fourth win and it was for third place but it felt like we won the World Series,” BHS head coach Eddie Candelaria said. “It was a real thrill for everyone.”
The win makes Belen 4-4 on the season, as they are idle during spring break. They’ll travel to Moriarty for a game Tuesday, March 22. The Lady Eagles are set to travel to the Lady Dog Tournament in Artesia on Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26.
The Lady Eagles earned a trip to the third-place contest after going 1-1 in pool play on Friday, with a 10-5 win over Grants and a 12-4 loss to Valencia.
Albuquerque Academy 7
The Eagles were down 7-3 as they took the field in the bottom of the fifth inning of Saturday’s third-place game, but held the Lady Charges scoreless in the next three innings, and rallied in the seventh to take the lead.
The seventh inning started with a quick out for the Eagles, and a win looked out of reach until Belen took advantage of two base hits and a handful of errors.
Andrea Gabaldon scored on an error during the Lady Eagles’ last at-bat, giving them an 8-7 lead. Belen held the Lady Chargers scoreless in the bottom of the seventh to claim the third place finish.
“This is our second win that came in the seventh inning,” Candelaria said. “Two of our four wins have been come-from-behind wins, so that shows a lot of true grit.”
Candelaria said the win was a total combined effort, with every player on the roster getting a chance at the plate.
Belen’s Maria Montoya went 1-for-2 and scored three runs while Jessica Yeomans contributed two doubles for the Lady Eagles.
“Sometimes, after a win like that, they can come out flat the next day, but we don’t play again until (next) Tuesday so we have a lot of time to reflect on this feeling,” Candelaria said.
Belen 10, Grants 5
In their first game of the tournament, a seven-run fourth inning put the Lady Eagles up by five. Grants put together a three-run rally in the top of the sixth, but was unable to score in the seventh.
The Lady Eagles had nine hits in the contest, while the Lady Pirates managed seven.
Belen’s Sierra Aroz went 2-for-4 at the plate and scored twice for the Lady Eagles and teammate Bethany Martinez was 2-for-4 as well.
Valencia 12, Belen 4
The Lady Eagles were unable to stop the Lady Jaguars of Valencia on Friday afternoon after allowing the first four VHS batters of the game to score.
A flyout stopped the bleeding, but the next three Jaguars to the plate scored as well, putting Belen down 7-0 after the top of the first inning.
Base hits by Belen’s Bethany Martinez and Sierra Aroz started the Lady Eagles off in the right direction. Both runners scored for BHS before a double play on an attempted stolen base ended the Eagles’ first at-bat.
BHS didn’t score again until the bottom of the sixth inning, and it wasn’t enough to overcome Valencia’s early 10-run lead, giving Belen a 1-1 record in their three-team pool.
Belen pitcher Hailey Morgan went 2-for-3 in the contest with two doubles, while Aroz went 2-for-3 and scored two of the Eagles four runs in the game.