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March 19, 2001

Pecos edges Alpine to get tourney title

PECOS, March 19, 2001 - Playing the Alpine Bucks on their home field wasn't as easy for the Pecos Eagles as playing them in Pecos earlier in the week, but it was still good enough to get the Eagles a pair of victories over the weekend and earn them the championship of the Alpine Tournament.

The Eagles took the tournament title Saturday night by holding off Alpine's gold team by a 10-9 final score, after an 11-3 win over the Bucks' purple team and a 9-3 victory over Midland Greenwood on Friday.

Barney Rodriguez five-hit the Rangers in the tournament semifinals, after Matthew Levario picked up the win over Alpine's purple team earlier in the day. Then on Saturday Rodriguez got the save in relief of Richard Rodriguez, after he came on to replace Angel Villalobos, who started the game against the Bucks and was staked to an early lead by the Eagles.

"We led the whole game. We were ahead 9-4 and 10-5 and they came back on Angel," coach Bubba Williams said. "Richard came in an went three innings until his arm started hurting and then Barney came in.

"The think I liked about it was it was a team effort. Even Capi Magana (who pitched in Thursday's 13-6 win over San Elizario) wanted to come in and pitch. The kids went there intending to win it."

Richard Rodriguez saw his record improve to 1-2, while both Levario and Barney Rodriguez are now 2-0 after their wins on Friday.

Williams said Joey Ortega had three RBI in Saturday wins, while Richard Rodriguez had a double and Alex Garcia, David Elkins and Rigo Ramirez also collected hits in the victory. The Eagles had nine hits in the win, while picking up 13 the previous night against Greenwood. Mason Abila had a triple, while Barney Rodriguez had a double in that game.

Alpine catcher John Navarette had an inside-the-park home run in Saturday's game, putting a ball out near the 430-foot sign in center at Kokernot Field.

The Eagles were looking at a possible title game match-up against Fabens, but their District 2-4A rival lost to Alpine in the semifinals, and then were beaten by Greenwood in the tournament's third place game. Fabens and San Elizario were the other district teams entered in the Alpine Tournament.

The wins, coming off last Tuesday's 17-4 victory at home over Alpine, raised the Eagles' record to 9-5 on the season going into this coming Friday's District 2-4A opener against Clint. The Lions, who went undefeated in 2-4A play last season, are only 1-9-1 so far this year, but Williams said, "They've been playing some tough teams and have been seeing some good pitching."

Eagles walk by Lions in latest comback win

Staff Writer

PECOS, March 19, 2001 - The Pecos Eagles went with what works against the Clint Lions in the District 2-4A softball opener for both teams on Friday, and what worked was the same thing that always seems to work for the Eagles against the Lions _ hang around and wait for Clint's pitching to self destruct.

For the third time in the three years, Pecos has spotted Clint an early lead at home, only to rally in the closing innings, this time from 8-3 and 9-8 deficits to beat the Lions by a 13-9 score.

Stephanie Herrera came on in relief of Alexa Marquez after the Eagles fell behind the Lions by five runs after four innings of play. Pecos then rallied to tie the score in the bottom of the fifth, and after a wild pitch by Herrera helped Clint regain the lead, Lions' pitchers Nancy Almanza, Marissa Arnold and Yvette Maldonado combined for six walks and one hit batter in the bottom of the sixth inning, allowing Pecos to score five times on only one hit.

"They walked a bunch, and we're going to take advantage of that when we're not hitting real good," said Eagles' coach Tammy Walls. "I told them to wait for a called strike and at first we were swinging at the first pitch, and then I got on them and told them to be patient in the batter's box, which I think has been part of our problem."

A leadoff hit by Rebecca Wein was the only hit of the inning for Pecos in the sixth, who were out-hit in the game by Clint, 9-8, but saw their first eight batters reach base in the inning off the Lions' trio. Arnold had the most trouble, walking one batter and hitting another while being called for an illegal jump-pitch to force home a run in the sixth after Almanza was called on an illegal pitch to force home the Eagles' go-ahead run.

Arnold had her problems throwing the ball earlier in the game from shortstop as well. Her throw by first base on a Wein grounder allowed Kathy Maldanado to score in the first inning for a 1-0 Pecos lead. Pecos then added two more runs in the second, on a triple by Marquez, an RBI single off Almanza's glove by Gomez and another RBI hit after that by Bre'Ann Windham.

But the Eagles had problems of their own on defense in the third. Gomez, who handled all three outs the previous inning, threw away a grounder to third after an opening single, and then Jessica Rodriguez couldn't handle Gomez' throw to first two batters later. Combined with a single by Arnold and a mix-up between Rodriguez and Ashley Salcido on an Almanza infield hit, it allowed Clint to score five times and take a two-run lead.

They added to that in the fourth on singles by Yvette Maldonado, Michelle Tullius and a triple by Amanda Bravo, who then scored on another Pecos error.

Meanwhile, Almanza had Pecos hitting only soft taps for outs in the middle innings, until running into control problems in the fifth. She walked Herrera, and after a line drive out by Wein and a single by Salcido, walked Marquez, gave up an RBI single to Gomez, then walked Neftali Salgado and Windham to score two more runs. Rodriguez then singled to center field, where Lorraine Chavez booted the ball for an error, allowing two runs to score on the play, tying the game.

Herrera, meanwhile, came on in the fifth and allowed a single while striking out three, then saw Clint regain the lead when Bravo singled and scored on two wild pitches and a passed ball by Wein. But she retired the next three batters, and after the Eagles scored four times in the sixth, retired the side in order in the seventh to get the victory.

"Shoe got the game under control for us," Walls said. "I felt like the momentum had changed and we needed a pitching change. Stephanie came in and stopped them and helped get our momentum back."

The win improved the Eagles' season record to 4-9, while Clint saw their record fall to 6-6-1 on the season. Pecos' next game is Tuesday afternoon at Fabens, before coming home to face Canutillo and El Paso Mountain View in their next two home games.

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Pecos Enterprise
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