The Class 5A/6A South All-Star state softball team may have fell to the North squad 12-2 in the first of a three-game series Friday at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, but in a game where the special rules can make it tough to gain and keep momentum, it was more about letting some college bound players get some action against the states top competition.
Roswell High head softball coach Art Sandoval is guiding the South team, giving him a couple more opportunities to coach his All-State shortstop daughter Sheyanne Sandoval before she heads off to Trinidad State in Colorado.
“I only played her four innings,” Sandoval said. “The rules are that each kid has to play a total of seven innings in the series, and I played everybody today, all 15 kids. Sheyanne started at shortstop today, had two ABs and was 0-for-2, but she made some great defensive plays.”
Another recent Roswell High graduate, Mykaya Olivas, was also slated to play in the All-Star series, but opted not to attend.
While the game has different rules and is an award of sorts for the top players in the state, it’s still competitive, and Art Sandoval wants to win.
“I want to win every game, so we’ll get back at it today and try to make something happen,” he said.
Coach Sandoval was surprised to see his daughter’s Trinidad State coaches in attendance Friday.
“They came to see her, along with Teddi Garcia from Carlsbad, who is also going to Trinidad State,” he said. “I thought that was very kind of them to come to the game. I didn’t know that would happen and he came out on the field and gave them hugs and all that good stuff.”
Sandoval said Sheyanne is his first All-Stater at shortstop since 2005 and the first All-Star, along with Olivas, since 2008.
“It’s a big deal for her, but it’s about that time to see what she can do at the next level,” he said. “I’m proud and excited for her.”
The Class 1A-4A All-Star baseball series is also being played this weekend in Rio Rancho, with NMMI’s Charlie Ward coaching the South Squad which features soon-to-be Broncos Michel Hinojos and Jake Guerrero.
In Las Cruces, at the 5A/6A All-Star baseball games, Goddard’s Alan Edmonson is coaching the South and four seniors from his recent state title team: Ethan Coombes, Luke Fink, Justin Miller and Cal Villareal. All four players are off to play college ball in the fall.