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This week in Rough Rider athletics


In baseball, Luna returns to the Grand Canyon State for a second straight weekend, visiting Ottawa University in Surprise, Ariz. Action begins at 3 p.m. Friday, and the teams will play at 11 a.m. Saturday. The Spirit junior varsity is 4-0 to start the season, while Luna is 1-3. Luna will play a twinbill at Trinidad State (Colo.) on Wednesday, Feb. 12, to conclude the road swing. In the season-opening series this past weekend, Luna took one of four games at Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher, Ariz. Coach T.C. Nusser’s Rough Riders won 5-0 in the series finale after three competitive games, two decided by a single run. During the series, Luna sophomore Dustin Sipe collected six hits, including four doubles, with eight runs batted in. The Gila Monsters won 3-1, 6-5, 5-4 before the Rough Riders took a 5-0 shutout.


In softball, Luna will have a chance to get healthier after missing a couple of starters for the opening weekend. Coach Steve Wallace’s Rough Riders had been scheduled to play in west Texas for the Permian Basin Invitational hosted by Odessa College. But that tournament was cancelled due to heavy snowfall in Odessa. Last Friday (Jan. 31), the shorthanded Rough Riders lost twice at Otero, 14-3 and 12-5, in La Junta, Colo. Luna sophomore Aiyana Gonzales hit 2 of 3 in the opener while teammate Olyvia Dominguez drove in two runs. Gonzales hit 3 of 3 in the nightcap and currently ranks sixth in batting average among NJCAA players.