Cimarron collects just two hits, holds off Palo Verde

Sabrina Chavez had the only two hits Tuesday for Cimarron-Memorial’s softball team. The rest of the Spartans’ offense, though, wasn’t exactly dormant.

Cimarron turned a solo home run and four walks into four runs in the first two innings and nipped visiting Palo Verde, 4-3.

“It was a team effort against a top-notch team,” Cimarron coach Steve Gorden said.

After Sarah Murphy walked and scored in the first, Chavez led off the second with a home run to right-center.

Consecutive walks to Carmen Hasbrouck and Tasha Rasmussen, two wild pitches, a passed ball and an Alexa Snyder sacrifice fly stretched the lead to 4-0.

Chavez added a single in the third inning, and the Spartans (5-1) had only one more runner the rest of the way.

The Panthers (2-1) had 11 hits but stranded eight runners and had two thrown out either trying to steal or advance on pitches that didn’t get far enough away.

Palo Verde scored single runs in the fourth and sixth to get within 4-2 but stranded a runner at third in the sixth.

Rachel Williams led off the seventh with a double, and a throwing error sent her home and put the potential tying run on base with no outs. But Snyder came on in relief and got a lineout, a hard bouncer back to the circle and a strikeout.

Cimarron starter Michelle Knott gave up one run on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.

“She pitched very well against a tough, experienced team,” Gorden said. “We’ve got four pitchers, and they’re not just throwers, they’re pitchers.”

The Spartans committed two errors — both on throws — but otherwise were sharp on defense.

Murphy made six catches in center field, including a running, juggling grab to end a threat in the first and robbing Kali Tomlinson of a hit with a catch crashing into the fence in left-center to end the fourth.

Rachael Turner was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Williams, Mackenzie McBride and Breanna Beatty each went 2-for-4 for Palo Verde.

“We don’t have the experience they do, but our girls have a lot of heart,” Gorden said. “They pick each other up. They’re really, really good people. There’s not one girl on the team I can say anything negative about.”