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Luna, Northeastern battle it out in softball shootout

There’s no shortage of fight in this Luna Community College softball team.

That was evident Saturday in the first of the Rough Riders’ four-game home-opening series against Northeastern (Colo.), a shootout that exhausted two hours and 45 minutes before the visiting Plainswomen finally took a 19-14 win.

Ashlea Ortega hit 4 for 5 with five runs batted in, including a solo home run, to lead Luna. Andrea Hernandez, Brittany White and Rebekka Montgomery had two hits apiece.

Luna opened scoring with an RBI double by White, followed by an RBI single from Olyvia Dominugez in the bottom of the first. The Riders led 3-0 on a groundout RBI by Ortega the next inning.

Northeastern got on the board in the top of the third, closing to within 3-2 before Luna added a run to its lead on a bases-loaded walk taken by Jackie Delgado.

But the Plainswomen turned the tide in the fourth. After LCC gave up a leadoff single and a walk, and Bailey Deal drove in a run with a double. Two hitters later, the visitors had the bases loaded, and Jacey Moon belted a grand slam to grab control at 7-4. Before getting out of the frame, Luna yielded a two-run triple to Maddy Rule and suddenly found itself in a five-run hole.

Ortega quickly cut the lead with her solo homer in the bottom of the fourth. Taylor Sandoval hustled in reaching first after the Plainswomen mishandled her bunt that scored Montgomery in the bottom of the fifth. Hernandez and Ortega both hit RBI singles, carving the lead down to 9-8 before a double play ended the run.

The Plainswomen pumped their lead back to 13-8 with the help of a three-run homer by Jennalyn Carrigan, but Luna pitcher Sabrynn Chacon subsequently got out of a bases-loaded jam to limit the damage.

Luna rallied in the bottom of the sixth with a six-run outburst to regain the lead. Aiyana Gonzales’ sacrifice fly scored White, who’d led off with a double. Then Delgado drew a bases-loaded walk, before Hernandez hit an RBI single and Ortega a two-run double. Taylor Quintana’s groundout scored the go-ahead run for a 14-13 Rough Rider edge.

But Northeastern answered with another big inning, pushing across six runs in the top of the seventh. The visitors regained control on an error-aided three-run shot by Danielle Woolsey.

Luna managed two baserunners in its final at-bat, but both were stranded.

Luna rebounded for a win in game two, doubling its season total. Ortega smashed her second home run of the afternoon and White went 4 for 4 with two doubles and three RBI in an 8-3 triumph.

Ortega, Dyani Cummings-Lani and Delgado all had two hits each.

The Riders spotted Northeastern three runs in the top of the first but wiped the lead away with five scores in their half of the frame. Luna added two runs in the second and one in the fourth, and pitcher Dominique Guidry held the Plainswomen to three hits and six walks with six strikeouts in a complete-game win.

Northeastern swept Luna on Sunday, however, prevailing 8-6 and 15-9.

White hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth in Sunday’s first game, and Luna took a 3-2 lead before relinquishing it in the top of the fifth. Delgado hit 3 of 3 with two RBI to pace the Riders.

In the finale, Northeastern built a 13-1 cushion in the first two innings that held up to a solid rally. Quintana and Gonzales drove in three runs apiece, and Dominguez was 3 of 4 with two RBI.

Coach Mark Mattox’s Rough Riders (2-7) continue the homestand this weekend with twinbills against Lamar and Otero on Friday and Saturday, respectively, at West Las Vegas field. First pitch each day is set for noon.