It’s 2014 all over again: Cleveland faces Rio Rancho for the APS Metro Championships title Saturday morning at 10 at the Shockyards on the CHS campus.
Both city teams won their semifinal games Friday: The fourth-seeded Rams (5-4) won a 6-5 contest at top seed Volcano Vista, and the second-seeded Storm (10-2) whipped 3 seed La Cueva, 10-3.
Details on both games were unavailable as the Observer went to press Friday.
When the City of Vision’s softball teams squared off for the Metro crown eight years ago, the Rams eked out a 4-3 victory.
The Rams won again in 2015. The Storm lost the 2017 title game, and the Rams were back in 2019 — the tournament was washed out because of the pandemic the past two seasons — and won it again.
The Storm had bragging rights 2019 going into the March 19 clash, having beaten the Rams 8-2 at the Eagle Ridge complex and 5-2 at the Shockyards last season.
Cleveland, 2021’s state 5A champion, has the Rams visiting April 8 and then playing at Eagle Ridge on April 26 in their District 1-5A meetings coming up.
Earlier in the week…
Cleveland 9, Manzano 1: At Cleveland on Thursday, sophomore Avi Fierro scattered three singles, struck out seven and walked only one Monarch as the Storm advanced into a Friday semifinal at home.
After scoring an unearned run in the third, the Storm sent eight batters to the plate in the fourth and took full advantage of three Monarchs (3-4) to plate four runs. Alivia Hughes and Mercedes Lovato had RBI singles in that outburst.
Eight Storm batters came to the plate in the sixth, scoring four runs again — three unearned — to put the game well out of reach.
Mercedes Lovato, Tavia Fragua and Aubrey Jaramillo each had two of the Storm’s 10 hits. Cleveland played errorless ball on a windy afternoon, but Manzano committed six miscues.
“They‘re getting better,” CHS coach Angel Castillo said. “If we can put it together, the sky’s the limit.”
Cleveland 21, Del Norte 1: Fierro allowed just one hit and the Knights’ lone run was unearned in this first-round game Wednesday shortened to three innings.
Mya Pacheco led CHS with three hits in three at-bats.
Rams 11, Cibola 6: A six-run second inning helped the Rams beat their District 1-5A foe Thursday afternoon.
By game’s end, the Rams’ 14 hits had doubled the amount of the Cougars, with Kayla Reed and Ariana Valenzuela leading the way with three hits and two RBIs apiece.
Kionna King and Labraida Tenorio had homers for the Rams, with King supplying a team-high three runs.
The Cougars got close, scoring three runs to make it an 8-6 game after the top of the sixth, but the Rams matched that for their five-run lead, and CHS was scoreless in the seventh.
Mia Flores was the starting pitcher for the Rams, with late-relief help from Tenorio.
On Wednesday, a four-run third inning was all the Rams needed to advance into the quarterfinals.
King clouted another home run and Tenorio went all seven frames in the circle and scattered five hits.