Out-hit, but not out-scored, the Cleveland High softball team bounced back from its Metro championship game loss to edge visiting Valley 3-2 Tuesday afternoon in an opening-round game of the Cleveland Classic at the Shockyards.
Scoreless through the first five frames, the Storm took a brief lead after Tavia Fragua reached on an error and one out later, Aubrey Jaramillo hit a home run.
The 2-0 lead after six innings didn’t last long, even with Storm ace Avi Fierro in the circle.
The Vikings used a one-out double, an RBI-single, a walk and an infield single to tie the game, and were threatening to take the lead when Fierro fanned Aaliyah Penn with two teammates on base.
With snow starting to fall on the chilly afternoon, Mercedes Lovato walked with one down in the bottom of the seventh.
After Lovato went to second on a wild pitch, Fierro lofted a fly ball to right field, which was caught for the second out. But the right fielder’s relay to the Vikings’ second baseman was dropped, and Lovato streaked home with the winning run.
The Vikings had seven hits in the contest, with Fierro striking out seven. Vikings hurler Jerzey Gutierrez more than held her own in the circle, striking out five, but walking five, and allowing just three hits.
Due to a scheduling change, the Storm (11-3) entertain Manzano in a second-round game of the Classic Wednesday at 5 p.m. The storm’s third game in the 12-team tournament is Friday at 3 p.m. vs. Roswell; their finale is Saturday at 3 vs. Farmington.