Lady Bears softball ‘played amazing’ in 1A-2A state tournament

Estancia's Priscilla Padilla letting a low pitch go by during the Lady Bears' win over Capitan May 16.

Estancia High’s softball team put up a good fight in the Class 1A-2A state tournament but hit a wall against the Lordsburg Lady Mavericks.

The eleventh-seeded Lady Bears battled through five games in two days, May 15-16 at the Rio Rancho Softball Complex, winning three of them—including an extra-innings shootout against Dora.

The Lady Bears’ only losses were to the No. 3 Lady Mavericks.

“They really impressed me,” Estancia head coach Sherri Larson said of the Lady Bears. “They went further than I expected.”

In the May 15 opening play-in round, the Lady Bears slogged their way past the No. 6 Dora Lady Coyotes in a nine-inning, 27-26 slugfest.

Samantha Valencia pitched all five games during the Lady Bears’ playoff run. Photo by G. Demarest.

Estancia lost 17-2 later in the day to Lordsburg and dropped to the consolation bracket.

The Lady Bears rebounded the next morning by outlasting the No. 10 Jal Lady Panthers, 18-13. Estancia then faced No. 5 Capitan a few hours later and jumped out to a 13-6 lead before holding on for a 13-11 victory.

That set up a rematch with Lordsburg at 4:30 in the afternoon.

With a strong wind blowing out toward center field, the Lady Bears came out swinging and scored 12 runs in the first inning and added two more in the second.

But the Lady Mavericks tied the game 14-14 in the fifth inning and took the lead for good in the sixth before eliminating the Lady Bears, 18-16.

Samantha Valencia, who pitched all five games, said her arm felt like she had 50-pound muscles.

“It got a little rough at times,” she said. “But I just kept pitching because I knew that we had something to do it for.”

“They fought hard every game,” Larson added. “Every single one of them played amazing.”

The Lady Bears finished with an 11-18 overall record.