News-Bulletin Staff Writer
The Belen High School softball players flexed their muscles on Tuesday and took full advantage of home field, as Lady Eagle junior fireballer Darlene Baca threw her first career no-hitter in their 10-0 victory. The Lady Eagles improved to 6-6 overall and 2-1 in District 3-4A.
“I told her (Baca) she needed to strike out one batter per inning,” head coach Nettie Salas said.
The coaching obviously did the trick as she struck out the five she was shooting for.
“It helped me a lot,” Baca said. “A lot of batters in my previous games would have a good 2-2 count and get a hit, I just wasn’t finishing off the batters”
So how big of a deal was Baca’s first no-hitter? She said it was the first she had heard of in a long time, and she hadn’t expected to ever throw one. However, now that she has thrown one no-hitter, Baca is already looking forward to her next.
‘I’ll be trying now,” Baca said. “I just threw more aggressively and I shook off my back pain. I just get down on myself sometimes and need to just get up there and shake it off.”
The Lady Eagles gave Baca the run support she needed to win the game, when they jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first inning. The team’s seven run first was more than enough for Baca.
Andrea Gomez went 2 for 3 in the game, including a two-RBI triple in the first inning, and added another two runs to the Lady Eagles finale tally. Miriah Salas led the way offensively for the Eagles going 3 for 4 with an RBI and two runs of her own. Baca not only did her duty on the mound but also got things going at the plate also going 2 for 3. Cassandra Gomez added two hits in three at bats to the Eagles very lopsided 13 total hits.
The Wildcats were able to hold on through the second and third innings without allowing another Eagle run, but in the fourth, the Lady Eagles found home plate once again and put the nail in the coffin in the fifth with two runs to end the game by virtue of the 10-run-rule.
The Lady Eagles are taking a few days off for spring break but will return to action on April 9 when they travel down south to Las Cruces to face the Oñate Knights.
“It kind of hurts us to have a break like this when we are playing as well as we are,” the coach said. “I’ll just be focusing on conditioning during the next week and trying to stay focused on the task at hand.”