Softball’s 2022 regular season came down to its final day before a District 1-5A champion was determined.
The City of Vision’s teams, as usual, were in the mix.
Storm 14, Volcano Vista 13: Ready to call it a day after taking a 12-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning at Volcano Vista Thursday afternoon, three Cleveland errors by shortstop Mya Pacheco helped the Hawks score four unearned runs and keep the game alive.
Cleveland needed a win, coupled with a Friday evening win over visiting Atrisco Heritage Academy and a Rio Rancho loss at Volcano Vista Friday afternoon, to repeat as District 1-5A champions.
As if that fifth-inning disaster didn’t hurt the Storm enough, the Hawks sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth, tying the game at 13 and, after a scoreless seventh, required eight innings to settle.
Avi Fierro, who relieved starting pitcher Alivia “LaLa” Hughes in the sixth — getting only one out and allowing a solo and a two-run homer — and was quickly replaced by Hughes, singled home Alex Paboucek with what turned out to be the game-winning run in the eighth.
Pacheco whacked a three-run homer, and Aubrey Jaramillo and Lillian Paboucek added solo homers in the first, giving the Storm a 5-0 lead.
Two more runs in the second made it 7-0; five runs in the fifth, when Jaramillo hit another homer, made it 12-2 with CHS only needing three outs.
But that didn’t happen, and the game dragged on.
All that happened at Volcano Vista became moot the following day, after the Rams got home runs from Mia Flores and Labraida Tenoiro and beat the Hawks 8-4, giving RRHS the title and relegating the Storm to runners-up.
Storm 11, Rams 0: On Tuesday, down but not out, Cleveland desperately needed to pull off a win at Rio Rancho for any hopes of repeating as district champs. The Rams hadn’t lost in 1-5A yet, and a win would clinch the district championship.
Cleveland only needed its second at-bats to score more than enough runs (4) to throw a monkey wrench into the Rams’ hopes for the title.
Cleveland added three runs in the fourth, and then two each in the fifth and sixth to turn it into a rout.
Hughes (8-2) allowed the Rams only three hits and fanned four as RRHS was shut out for the second time in eight days, having been clobbered 13-0 at La Cueva on April 19. Hughes, backed by solid defense, was 2 for 3 at the plate.
Jaramillo, Fierro and Pacheco socked home runs for the Storm, who’d lost to the Rams, 7-5, in the APS Metro Championship game on March 19.
The city’s teams could meet again in the Class 5A state tournament, contested May 12-13 with games at Cleveland High School’s fields, and May 14 with the championship game at UNM’s Lobo Field. The state softball brackets will be released Sunday at nmact.org.