Valencia softball capitalizes on Belen errors to win 12-0

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In the first district meeting of the two county teams, Valencia used a big fifth inning to overpower Belen in a 12-0, mercy-rule win.

Tiffini Porter-News-Bulletin photo: Valencia’s Caroline Lucero, right, tries to avoid the tag from Belen’s Emma Gonzales, center, in Saturday’s 12-0 Lady Jaguar win in the teams’ first district meeting of the season.

“Valencia is phenomenal,” Belen coach Raymond Valerio said. “We competed with them in the first innings, and any time we can compete with a good team like that, we are getting better and better.”

The game was scoreless for the first two innings, until a Belen error at third base in the top of the third brought in two Valencia runs to start the Lady Jags’ scoring run.

Valencia’s Kayla Young got into a pickle, distracting the Lady Eagles and allowing Valencia’s Erin Sharpe to score the third run for the Jags.

“We didn’t play very well early,” Valencia coach Jeff Young said. “But Amber (Baca) did a great job pitching. She struck out eight (batters) in five innings.”

Baca gave up only three hits in the contest.

In the fourth inning, a series of Belen errors at third base led to two more runs for the Jaguars.

A strong fifth inning sealed the deal for Valencia.

A Dayanna Iturralde grounder brought in the first run of the inning for Valencia.

Marissa Kittridge found a hole in centerfield for an RBI before Krystal Vargas sent a hard hit to the same hole, bringing in two more Lady Jaguars.

Krystal came in in the fifth to hit and had a two RBI triple. “That broke the game open,” Young said.

Two more Lady Jags crossed home plate, before an overthrown ball to third base allowed the twelfth Valencia runner to score.

Belen was unable to produce any runs in the bottom of the fifth, ending the game in a mercy-rule decision.

Valencia travelled to Gallup for a district game on Tuesday where they fell 7-1.

Erin Sharpe scored the Lady Jags’ only run in the third inning of the contest.

Gallup’s Kiana Spencer pitched to no-hitter. The loss makes Valencia 13-6 overall and 2-1 in District 6-4A.

Belen’s road trip to Grants on Tuesday ended in a 14-9 victory for the Lady Eagles. A four-run first inning and five runs in the seventh helped propel Belen to its first District 6-4A win.

Emma Gonzales pitched for the Lady Eagles. Vanessa Garcia and Alexis Maese each scored two runs in the contest.

“It is going to take a couple of years to build, but we are on the right track,” Valerio said of his young team’s efforts in district play. “It’s a tough district to be in, but our main focus is on a lot of fundamentals.”

Both teams will continue district play this weekend, with Valencia heading across town to Los Lunas for a 6 p.m. game Friday, and Belen hosting Miyamura at 11 a.m. Saturday.