They say revenge is a dish best served cold, and, for the middle of March, Thursday was about as cold as it gets. With dust storms sweeping across the Belen fields the Eagles served the Tigers a heaping helping of revenge, beating the cross-county rivals, 15-5 in five innings.
“This was a rival game and rival games always bring a lot of emotion,” catcher Brandi Dearing said. “This game helped us to gain that confidence I think we need.”
Dearing led the team on the offensive, hitting a perfect 4-for-4, including a triple and two RBIs in the fifth inning.
Both teams had their bats working in the game, but the Los Lunas offense was having a great deal of difficulty getting runners around. The Tigers actually outhit the Eagles, 12-11.
“We weren’t really hitting well on Tuesday,” said first bagger Miriah Salas. “We knew that, in this game, we would have to come out and hit the ball.”
Salas went 2-for-4 in the game including a two-run, inside-the-park homerun and three RBIs.
Each team got its runs started early as the Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the first. However, Los Lunas was able to tie the game at one apiece in the top of the second inning. This would be as close as the Tigers would get throughout the rest of the game.
After a six-run second inning which included Salas’ homerun, the Eagles had opened a wound that would be difficult for the Tigers to keep under control.
“We just made too many mistakes,” Tiger head coach Glenn Trujillo said. “Belen played us tough, but we made more errors than they did.”
To be exact, the Tigers had 11 errors to the Eagles’ two, which made the difference in the game.
With an already commanding 6-2 lead after the Tigers scored a run in the top of the third, the Eagles came out in the bottom of the third inning with an air of confidence. The Eagles scored another five runs in the third to increase their lead to 10 runs, 12-2.
In the top of the fourth, the Tigers were struggling to keep their heads above water, and the Eagles didn’t let up. The Tigers were unable to close the gap in the fourth, but did keep the Eagles scoreless in the inning.
In the fifth inning the Tigers struck, with their final chance to extend the game. Los Lunas rallied in the top of the fifth, and the Eagles went to their closer, Martina Chavez. Darlene Baca recorded the win for the Eagles after pitching four innings.
The Tigers were able to score three runs and extend the game at least another half an inning and possibly more if they could hold the Eagles.
However, the Eagles would not be stifled. To start things off in the bottom of the fifth, two Eagles reached base. Dearing came to the plate with two runners on and sent a triple into left field to score two runs. For the encore, Navora Cordova laid down a picture-perfect bunt along the first base line to score Dearing for the 10-run defeat.
“This win really helped us to get back on track,” Eagle head coach Nettie Salas said. “We know we are capable of the win.”
The Eagles had some difficulty on Tuesday with St. Michael’s, losing 8-3, but Salas is not worried about the team’s rocky start.
“We played pretty good this last week, and we worked our way out of some tight situations,” the coach said. “We’re right where we need to be right now.”
The Lady Eagles return to action on Tuesday March 19 when they head to Los Alamos to face the Lady Hilltoppers, and will return home on March 21 to face Albuquerque Academy.
Despite the 10 run loss to their cross-county rivals, the Tigers aren’t putting too much stock into the game.
“This is just one game,” Trujillo said. “We can’t celebrate too much on the victories and we can’t dwell for too long on the losses.”
The Tigers will also be back on the diamond on Tuesday when they play host to St. Pius X, game time is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
The Eagles improved to 3-5 on the season with this win, while the Tigers dropped to 4-3 on the season (double their win total from last year).
Los Lunas 0 1 1 0 3 – 5 12 11
Belen 1 5 6 0 3 – 15 11 2
Pithcing-LL Ashley Herrera and Chacara Fleming. B Darlene Baca, Martina Chavez (5) and Brandi Dearing. Win: Baca(3-3). Loss: Herrera
Hitting: LL Katie Jo Gabaldon 2-3; Stephanie Perea 2-3 2B; Fleming 2-3. B Dearing 4-4 3B; Miriah Salas 2-4, HR, 3 RBI, Katherine Archuleta 2-4.
Rec. LL 4-3, B 3-5