Home Sports Local Sports Cardiac Coyotes come back, defeat Lovington

Cardiac Coyotes come back, defeat Lovington

Roswell’s Karissa Mesquita slides as the ball arrives at third base Saturday against Lovington in the season opener. (David Rocha Photo)

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Get ready if you’re a Roswell Coyote softball fan. Last season this team was young and took their lumps — they had to learn how to win, and that only comes with experience and being in close games.

A Roswell batter swings and hits the ball during Saturday’s season opener against Lovington. (Arnold Roe Photo)

This year the Coyotes are still young but they have no fear — not of falling behind, or of making an error, and not of being under the steely eye of veteran coach Art Sandoval. In the last two season Sandoval has, for the most part, kept his cool and taught his players to play through mistakes, but more importantly to believe they can win.

“You know,” Sandoval said, “I learned in my old age that the players are going to feed off the coach. I’ve learned through different people and veterans around the state that coaches coach during practice and for the most part we’re going to manage during games. That’s what we did and we’re a reflection of our teammates and coaches. I think if we just keep our players loose and let them play they’ll be fine.”

That was never more evident when a Coyote player had runners on first and second and the ball was hit to her. All she had to do was tag the Lovington baserunner running right in front of her, at third base. Lovington would score three runs in the seventh inning to take a 6-4 lead.

Sandoval never said a word. He calmly changed pitchers and told his team where the play was at, depending on where the ball was hit.

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The Coyotes rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning when Raquel Gonzalez landed on first base because of an error on Lovington’s shortstop. Isabel Aragon drew a walk, moving Gonzalez to second base. Senior Cayla Chavez worked the count full when she laced a triple scoring Gonzalez and Aragon to tie the game at 6-6.

The Coyotes would eventually get a double from Alex Archuleta, who went 5-for-5 on the day. Gonzalez again hit a rope to the outfield wall for a double, scoring Archuleta to tie the game at 7-7. Chavez hit a walk-off single to left field as Gonzalez scored to give the Coyotes’ an 8-7 win.

“My hat goes off to the whole entire team,” Sandoval said. “I think this win took all of us. I think the pitchers did their job. We never gave up even when we were in extra innings. The senior (Cayla Chavez) stepped up and put us in extra innings. I tell you what, that’s why we work so hard in practice and that’s why there is a never-say-die attitude with this young program we have right now, and we’re going to continue to fight like heck.”

Sandoval feels like his young team is amazing and believes that the sky is the limit. He feels that if they play up to their potential they can go along way.

“Last year we played eighth-grade and freshmen,” Sandoval said. “Guess what? We’re still playing eighth-grade and freshmen. We’re doing what we’re supposed to do and we’re getting better on a daily basis. As long as we stay together as a team we’re going to be just fine.”

Roswell will play Dexter at noon on Friday in the Lady Dog Invitational.

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