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Spring seasons in full swing

Baseball falls in Scottsdale after split in Rio; Softball wins twice in Permian Basin Invite

By Dave Kavanaugh/Luna Community College

Luna softball won two of six games to open the season at the Permian Basin Invitational at Odessa, Texas.

Day one of the three-day tourney on Thursday was a tough start. Cisco College staked out a 9-0 win, led by a seven-strikeout, performance for Caitlyn Rangel, who held the Rough Riders to one hit and two walks through four frames.

Tournament host Odessa followed by defeating Luna 17-3. The Rough Riders did load the bases in the top of the fourth inning and scored two runs before the Wranglers escaped the jam. Odessa’s Michaella Baker led her side’s offensive output with a home run and a double.

Luna bounced back quickly enough, beating Hesston (Kan.) College 16-10 in Friday’s first contest, a morning game that started at 9 local time. The Rough Rider bats got on track early against the Larks, who also hit well.

“Very excited for the girls and the school,” said new head coach Randall Krutsch, who said 10 players contributed with runs batted in for “a solid team win.”

Lexi Johnson

Standouts included Lexi Johnson (three-run home run), Shelby Cordova (two hits and solid play at shortstop), Raegan Shackelford (two hits with a double), Victoria Gonzales (two hits with a double), and Mya Ortega (3 for 3 with two runs).

Val Manzanares and Shackelford pitched three innings apiece.

Odessa again matched up with Luna on Friday and took a 4-0 head start on a first-inning grand slam by Morgan Dutton. The Rider defense came up with a big play for the third out in the bottom of the third, stranding runners. Reagan Stange began adding insurance with a solo home run in the fourth en route to a 9-0 final tally.

Then on Saturday, Luna edged Hesston 10-9 in another rematch, weathering a Larks rally after taking a 10-2 advantage midway through the sixth.

Johnson shined again, hitting 3 for 4 with one double, two runs and one RBI. Shackelford and Sinai Cisneros recorded two hits and three RBI apiece.

Also that day, Tyler Junior College prevailed against Luna, 19-1.

Luna (2-4) will visit El Paso Community College on Saturday and Sunday.

Tyler Sunstorm

Tyler Sunstrom’s return to Rio Rancho High School, his alma mater, proved to be a memorable one for both him and his Luna Community College teammates.

Sunstrom hit a home run and drove in four runs as part of a 2-for-4 performance, helping the Rough Riders overcome Community Christian College (Calif.) for a 19-13 win on Feb. 9. Technically home games for Luna, the doubleheader was hosted by Rio Rancho High due to field conditions in Las Vegas.

For the Rough Riders it was their second win of the young season. CCC won game one 6-2. In that game, Luna’s Dominic Lucero went 3 for 3 at the plate, and Kobe Carpio and Tony Limon collected an RBI apiece in a 6-2 defeat. The Rough Riders led 2-0 through two innings amid a solid start for Kekoa Ogawa.

In game two, the lead changed hands several times before Luna punctuated the game with a seven-run surge to regain control in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Riders then held CCC scoreless in the top of the seventh to preserve a 19-13 win.

Sunstrom was one of three Riders – along with Carpio and Samuel Estrada – to hit homers in the nightcap. Each of the three also notched four RBI, and Bo Kidd had two RBI and Milo Behrens one for Luna. Dawson Spear, one of seven pitchers who saw action for Luna, was credited with the win.

The Rough Riders tested themselves over the weekend with a detour to Scottsdale, Ariz., to compete with Scottsdale Post Grad. The hosts won 10-1, 8-7 and 10-4.

The Riders (2-11) continue a busy stretch of 11 games scheduled in a 12-day span. They play at Wayland Baptist JV for a doubleheader on Tuesday in Plainview, Texas. This coming weekend (Feb. 19-20), Luna visits New Mexico Military for a four-game series in Roswell.