Belen softball splits on road

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After a tough Cavegirl Invite experience at Carlsbad, the Lady Eagles got back on the right track with a win at Moriarty, 9-6, on Tuesday.

They were off track by Thursday.

Del Norte hammered the Eagles, 11-1, where Belen committed seven errors.

Coach Ray Valerio is hoping the home date with Sandia Prep, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, might get the team on the right track again before having to go on the road for the District 6-4A opener at Gallup on Tuesday.

All of this coming after four losses to some of the best teams in the state at the Carlsbad tournament.

“These girls were shocked at the level of pitching over there,” said Valerio. “We put the ball in play (against Moriarty) and didn’t have any strike outs. They are playing harder and quicker and with more confidence.”

Belen 9, Moriarty 6

A four-run outburst in the second inning fueled the Eagles’ win on the road.

Alexis Maese had the big hit with a two-run double in the inning. The Eagles added a run with a sacrifice bunt laid down by Arena Lewis.

“We moved her to first base now and she played really well,” Valerio said of Maese.

Gonzales pitched well in getting her seventh win of the season. There were some tense moments in the bottom of the seventh inning when the Pintos scored twice to cut into the five-run advantage.

Valerio was happy with how the girls did not lose their composure in getting the final few outs.

“The girls are confident in themselves and made the plays,” said Valerio. “You still see sometimes they are a little shy, but we are making big strides.”

Del Norte 11, Belen 1

Belen was only able to tally a single run against the Knights Thursday afternoon. Maese tripled and then scored, but that was all of the offense the Eagles could muster.

In addition to the hitting woes, Belen had seven errors in the game.

Del Norte posted four runs in the first and three in the second before the Eagles settled down. The 7-1 lead was too much for Belen to overcome.

“They can’t accept the fact that you fail and that it is OK to fail if you learn,” said a frustrated Valerio after the contest. “It was an ugly game.”

The Sundevils provide the last chance to get Belen’s confidence back in line before district play begins on Tuesday.

“We had made major strides and were right on track with where we want to be,” said Valerio. “Then we have a setback. But we will get back to where we need to be.”


-- Email the author at mstearns@news-bulletin.com.