Valencia softball began District 5-4A play strong with an 11-0 shutout at Belen.
“We had a lot of energy,” said Valencia head coach Jeff Young. “Nobody was selfish, no mopey faces when I asked them to bunt or when I took kids out. They’re really coming together and playing well together.”
The Lady Jaguars (8-10, 2-0) hit the ground running against the Lady Eagles (8-11, 0-2). Both teams were scoreless in the first two innings. However, Valencia sophomore Alesha Zamora hit a two-run double in the third inning to put the Lady Jags on the board. From that point forward, Valencia scored in every inning, including a home run from senior Destiney Ward and a two-run double from junior Julie Logan.
Young was particularly pleased with the Lady Jags’ performance defensively. Led by 8 strikeouts from Julie Logan, they committed only one error and held the Lady Eagles to 7 hits.
“We haven’t had an error-free game yet,” said Young. “We fielded everything clean. I liked our intensity and our emotion.”
Despite the loss, Belen head coach Joe Duran remained positive. Specifically, he liked the Lady Eagles’ work ethic that night.
“They keep fighting,” said Duran. “They don’t hang their head. They keep fighting because it’s not over until the last out.”
Valencia followed up their district-opener victory with an 11-0 win at home against St. Pius. On Saturday, their winning streak ended with a 4-1 home loss against Artesia. Young wants to see the recent upswing continue for Valencia softball.
“We’re making progress,” said Young. “I just don’t want them to settle where they’re at.”
Valencia will host Capital at 6 p.m., Thursday.