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Pahrump Valley overcomes defensive mistakes to earn win over Cheyenne

Sometimes winning is more important than looking pretty.

Despite committing 10 errors, the Pahrump Valley softball team was able to power its way to a 23-11 road win over Cheyenne on Wednesday to to remain unbeaten in the Class 3A Sunset League.

The Trojans (18-7. 7-0) played tight with Cheyenne (7-6, 4-3 ) through most of the game thanks to sloppy play from both defenses. The Desert Shields led 10-7 heading to the top of the sixth inning before Pahrump scored 12 runs to take control.

“Our bench players came up big for us,” Pahrump coach Eli Armendariz said. “They got us some singles, a couple of doubles to help us out today.”

The big inning was highlighted by a grand slam from senior Jill Smith to give the team a 19-10 lead.

Smith was 2-for-4 with a double to go along with her four RBIs on one swing.

“I congratulated our bench players because they came through,” Armendariz said. “Our regulars had a little difficult time. I think we kind of looked over or past this team.”

Armendariz said the final score did not surprise him, but he expected to be able to finish the game in fewer than seven innings.

“They’re a good team, not taking anything away from them,” he said. “Their pitcher is very, very good. But I think we should have done better than we did here today. The first inning we had at least two or three errors that kept them in the game and just didn’t get better until the fifth or sixth inning.”

Cheyenne committed five errors, leading to 11 unearned runs. With both teams struggling on defense, Armendariz likened the game to boxing match.

“What I saw today was two boxers going at it but when once boxer knocked the other out he immediately got on top of him to resuscitate him and get him back in the game,” he said.

Pahrump’s starting pitcher, junior Amaya Mendoza, was able to hang tough even though her defense was not doing her many favors.

She went the distance, allowing four earned runs on nine hits. Mendoza struck out four.

“She did a great job, she went all seven innings. I finally got on the team and said they were making it difficult for the pitcher,” Armendariz said. “She was trying to get the job done. If you have the ball hit to you, you have to make the plays. You have to play defense.”

Contact reporter Bill Slane at bslane@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4559. Follow @bill_slane on Twitter.

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