Lady Warriors find success at home

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Coming home after playing on the road, the Socorro softball team was 1-3 in tournament play.

Polo C’ de Baca/For El Defensor Chieftain: Socorro catcher Natlie Paz reaches to catch the pitch in Tuesday’s game against Belen.

They had been playing without some team members who were busy finishing out the basketball season. On Tuesday they swept a double-header in an exciting come-from-behind game against the Class 4A Belen Lady Eagles. They tied the first game at 6-6 in the seventh inning and went on to win 7-6. The Lady Warriors had also been playing catch-up for most of the second game. They trailed going into the bottom of the seventh, 16-15, but pulled it out gain for the second home win, 16-15.

The clutch hitting Socorro girls came through with last-at-bats winning hits in both games. Catcher Natalie Paz’s base hit drove in Hope Moses for the winning run in the first game. The Lady Warriors were putting the ball in play and making contact, as a good hitting team does, giving the other team lots of opportunities to make errors.

“We just got the girls some of the girls back,” Socorro High School athletic director Damien Ocampo said. “They’re now meshing nicely into the team for tonight’s game with Belen.”

Senior Socorro veteran pitcher Savannah Padilla started the first game for Socorro. She’s Socorro coach Belinda Sandoval’s go-to pitcher.

“She’s always pulled through for us,” Sandoval said. “She’s come a long way. She’s got the focus, she’s got the mental part of the picture and she got her pitches down so we’re real proud of her, she did a good job — especially in the second game, she did a lot better.”

Backup pitcher and reliever Hope Moses started the second game.

“Hope is confident,” Sandoval said. “I thought she started off OK for us.”

Moses plays the shortstop slot when not pitching. Moses was relieved in the fourth inning of the second game by Padilla.

“It feels good to win at home,” Sandoval said. “It helps our spirit, it helps our confidence. They were determined to win at home. They wanted it and they got it.”

In the second game Belen scored two runs in the first inning. Socorro went ahead in the bottom of the second with three runs. Then Belen exploded with 10 runs in the top of the third. Belen led 12-3.

Socorro had little fireworks of their own. Six batters in a row scored seven run for Socorro to close the gap again 12-10 Belen at the end of the third. Belen then added two more in the fourth to go up 14-10.

Never-say-die Socorro came back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth trailing 14-12 and held Belen scoreless in the fifth. Socorro scored three runs to take the lead 15-14. Not-to-be-denied Belen scored one run in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game at 15. Belen was scoreless at their next at bat and the game was tied 15-15 going into the bottom of the seventh. First up for Socorro, Mariah Zamora got a base hit then was followed by Ashley Pyke who doubled. The next batter flew out to the shortstop. Jaz William got a base hit and two runs batted in which drove in the winning run for the 15-16 Socorro victory.

“They were having fun out there,” Sandoval said “Once they adjusted to the pitching they started to make contact and then they started to have fun. And that’s what makes the difference, if they can do that, come from behind and win the ball game.”