Moriarty High School’s softball team plated plenty of runs in the first six innings of its March 3 season opener against the visiting Sandia Prep Lady Sundevils. But the Lady Pintos needed a clutch hit in the final frame to secure the win.
After trading leads the entire game, the Pintos and Sandia Prep were deadlocked at 10-10 in the bottom of the seventh inning. With two runners on base, Moriarty’s Aneleya Guillen uncorked a base hit to drive in both runners and lift the Lady Pintos to the 12-10 victory.
“I knew I had to hit the ball and bring them in,” Guillen said.
Moriarty junior Jadyn Bryan pitched the entire game and hit an RBI-double in the Pintos’ six-run first inning. “I thought we did really good, there were quite a few errors but we picked it up,” Bryan said. “I felt like it was not intense at all, like, I was just having fun.”
Moriarty added a run in the second inning to go up 7-3. Sandia Prep scored one in the third and two in the top of the fourth.
Moriarty added three runs in the home half of the fourth to extend its lead to 10-6.
The Sundevils tied the game at 10-10 in the top of the seventh.
With barely enough players to field a team, Sandia Prep’s head coach Karah Williams-Cooper, an East Mountain resident, said her team “did great.”
“I actually only have nine players total, and one girl played her first game ever today,” Williams-Cooper said. “We hit the ball, we made some plays, everybody did good things, it was fun.”
Moriarty head coach Tonya Walden said she lost multiple seniors to graduation last year, and this season her team is rebuilding. But she said she liked what she saw in the Lady Pintos’ first matchup.
“It was a back-and-forth kind of game,” Walden said. “But for being the beginning of the season, I’m very proud of them for what they accomplished. They’re all working together, they’re encouraging each other—I couldn’t ask for more than that.”
Ger has been writing and shooting photos of high school sports for The Independent for 15 years. His dedication to youth athletics goes beyond sports reporting. He is past president of East Mountain Little League and works as a baseball umpire. He lives in Edgewood with his family.