by Tad Barton
The San Juan Lady Bronco softball team improved their record to 5-2 this past weekend, picking up three wins at the Bloomfield Tournament in Bloomfield, NM.
The Broncos started off hot picking up a 15-0 win over Navajo Prep in their first game of the tournament. San Juan followed that win up with another shutout performance against Kirtland Central, again 10 run ruling their opponents, this time 10-0.
In the championship game, the Broncos faced the tournament host Bloomfield Bobcats. San Juan looked avenge a 11-3 loss last week to Bloomfield and did so, defeating the Bobcats 9-7.
In game one versus Navajo Prep, senior Jessica Swenson started things off right fanning six batters and walking just two on her way to a no hitter.
At the plate, the Broncos received solid performances by a number of players led by Jade Palmer who went 3 for 3 with a double and three runs scored. Juniors Keahani Benally and Leilani Begay as well as freshman Keya Black were also perfect at the plate. Benally and Begay also combined for 5 RBIs and Black scored one run for the Broncos in the win.
Game two of the tournament saw senior Tatiana Su’eSu’e take the circle for San Juan. Su’eSu’e had a big day, striking out 12 batters while giving up just two walks and two hits over six innings.
Su’eSu’e also led the Broncos at the plate where she went 2 for 2, scored two runs and drove in two RBIs to go along with a homerun. Three other Broncos drove in two runs, including Begay, Swenson and Bailee Bowers.
Palmer, Begay and Sharla Yanito added to the Bronco offense, each scoring two runs to help San Juan to a 10-0 win.
The Broncos found themselves up against Bloomfield in the championship game on March 14. The Bobcats and the Broncos faced off just eight days earlier with Bloomfield picking up a convincing 11-3 win over San Juan. History looked as if it might be repeating itself as the Bobcats took a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the 4th inning.
The Bronco bats came to life in the bottom of the 4th inning as San Juan exploded for 9 runs to take a 9-5 lead. Bloomfield would add another 2 runs in the top of the 7th inning to make the final score 9-7 in favor of the Broncos.
Su’eSu’e had another solid day in the circle, striking out 8 batters over 7 innings. She was backed up with solid defensive play by her teammates as they kept the Bobcats from crossing the plate in spite of out-hitting San Juan 2 to 1 throughout the game.
Offensively Su’eSu’e had another big game at the plate going 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs, 2 runs scored and a homerun pushing her season total to 3 homeruns.
Palmer, Benally, Begay, Yanito and Mary Royer each had one RBI and each scored a run with Palmer scoring two runs in the win.
The Broncos hit the road again this weekend traveling to Gunnison to play the Gunnison Valley Bulldogs on Friday, March 20. Play is set to begin at 2 pm.
The San Juan baseball team didn’t fair quite as well as the softball team this weekend, as they also traveled to play in the Bloomfield Invitational.
The Broncos started things off on the right foot claiming a 5-1 win over the Pirates of Grants, NM.
In the second game of the tournament, San Juan faced the Spartans of Bernalillo, NM, dropping that contest 15-7. The third and final game of the tournament San Juan was pitted against East Mountain Timberwolves who handed the Broncos a 18-4 loss.
Against Grants, Braxton Brown and Jordan Blake teamed up on the mound, giving up just one run while striking out four. Brown led San Juan at the plate, going 2 for 2 with a RBI. Devin Johnson finished the game going 2 for 3 including a triple and a RBI.
Tanner Tayler and Easton Lee both had a RBI, while Jaxon Lee, Carver Black, Johnathon Lewis, Easton Lee and Mason Bethea all scored runs.
The Broncos also had four stolen bases, including Lewis, Taylor, Brown and Kavika Su’eSu’e.
Game two of the tournament the Broncos squared off with Bernalillo Spartans. San Juan took charge of the game early, taking a 4-1 lead after two innings. The Broncos then built on their lead scoring three more runs in the top of the 4th inning.
Bernalillo cut into San Juan’s lead in the bottom of the 4th after scoring 2 runs, making the score 7-3 in favor of the Broncos.
Then the wheels fell off for San Juan as Bernalillo scored 12 runs in the bottom of the fifth to pick up the win over the Broncos 15-7. The Broncos hit the ball well, but pitching and defense struggled late in the game and the Spartans capitalized.
Offensively, San Juan was led by Easton Lee and Bethea who both were 2 for 2 on the day with Lee logging 2 RBIs and Bethea scoring 2 runs as well. Blake was also perfect at the dish going 1 for 1 with and a run scored. Jaxon Lee went 2 for 3 with a run scored and Brown went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs and run scored. Lewis chipped in a RBI and a run scored, going 1 for 3 at the plate.
Taylor finished the game with a RBI and scored a run in spite of not earning a hit. The Broncos also picked up four stolen bases, with Blake swiping two, while Lewis and Taylor each had one.
The final game of the tournament was erily similar to the second as San Juan fell apart late in what was a close game.
East Mountain jumped out to a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the 2nd inning. The Broncos then scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd to cut the Timberwolf lead to one, 4-3. East Mountain would add four runs to extend their lead, but San Juan picked another run to pull within 4 runs 8-4.
In the 7th inning the Broncos again fell apart surrendering 10 runs.
Brown and Bethea had another big game, hitting both batting 1.000 with Brown going 4 for 4 and Bethea 3 for 3. Brown also drove in 2 RBIs while Bethea scored 2 and had a stolen base. Easton Lee and Blake both went 1 for 3 with Lee picking up a RBI and Blake scoring a run. Lewis contributed a RBI and run scored.
The Broncos look to get back in the win column as they play host Monticello on March 17. On Friday, San Juan hosts the North Sevier Wolves.