Artesia Lady Bulldogs outlast Carlsbad Cavegirls in extra innings

Presley Skinner crosses home plate during Artesia's game against Carlsbad in 2019. On May 7, 2021 Skinner scored the go-ahead run in the 8th inning to help the Lady Bulldogs beat the Cavegirls, 4-2 in extra innings.

The Artesia Lady Bulldogs and Carlsbad Cavegirls showed southeast New Mexico is still a hotbed for some of the best high school softball in the state after Friday’s 4-2 extra inning game that went in favor of the visiting Lady Bulldogs.

The Artesia Lady Bulldogs ended their 2019 season repeating as 4A state champions in softball while the Carlsbad Cavegirls finished in second place for the 5A crown. With COVID-19 canceling last season, both teams knew when they met up in 2021 the games would go a long way to predict the rest of the season.

In the 735 days since the Cavegirls played a varsity softball game at home, neither Artesia (5-0) nor Carlsbad (3-1) looked like they had missed a step. Coming into this game Carlsbad and Artesia had each three mercy-rule victories, outscoring their opponents a combined 99-2. Now against top-tier talent, both teams knew this game wouldn’t be easily won.