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Lady Hilltoppers Hold Off Elkettes For 14-10 Victory

on April 20, 2019 - 9:57am

The LAHS Girls Varsity Softball Team hosted the Pojoaque Valley Elkettes Tuesday afternoon at the White Rock softball fields. The Toppers secured an early lead and never looked back for a 14-10 win. Pictured is Jenessa Gonzales making the tag at home plate early in the game for an out. Photo by Nate Limback

The Toppers celebrating after a well earned victory. Photo by Nate Limback

 

By GEORGE MORSE
Sports And Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post
 
The Los Alamos High School softball team took a big lead early and held off a late-inning rally by Pojoaque Valley High School to earn a much-needed District 2-4A win April 16 at Overlook Park in White Rock.
 
The Lady Hilltoppers took an 11-4 lead after two innings and were leading 14-5 in the seventh inning. Pojoaque scored five runs to make the score 14-10 before Los Alamos was able to get the final out to end the game.
 
After losing both games of a doubleheader 8-3, 5-4 against Taos High School April 13 at Taos, Los Alamos needed the victory to stay close to the Elkettes in the District 2-4A standings. Pojoaque came into the game with a 5-0 record in District 2-4A and was alone in first place. Los Alamos was 2-2 in district play after the losses at Taos. A loss to Pojoaque would have dropped them three games behind the Elkettes in the district standings.
 
Los Alamos spotted the Elkettes a 1-0 lead when Pojoaque pushed a run across the plate in the top of the first inning, In the bottom of the first inning, Janessa Gonzales reached base after striking out as the ball got away from Pojoaque’s catcher. Claire Bluhm and Katie Wimer followed with singles. Alicia Gonzales and Savana Luster followed with back-to-back triples. A single by Maya McMillan brought Luster home with the fifth run of the inning for Los Alamos, which took a 5-1 lead.
 
Pojoaque responded with three runs in the top of the second inning. Madison Gonzales and Halle Vigil led off the inning with singles. They each advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt by Kaelynn Mondragon. Elysia Gonzales then stroked a triple to right field, scoring two runs. Elysia Gonzales scored on Ariana Salazar’s single, making the score 5-4 in favor of Los Alamos.
 
The Hilltoppers bats were hot in the bottom of the second inning. It seemed like every ball the Hilltoppers hit off Pojoaque pitcher Rebecca Ortega was hit hard.
 
Aspen DeHerrera and Megan Romero led off with singles. After a fly out to deep left field, Bluhm, Wimer and Alicia Gonzales hammered three straight doubles. Luster singled and later scored the Hilltoppers sixth run of the inning on a hard shot by McMillan that went off the glove of Pojoaque’s left fielder. Los Alamos took an 11-4 lead.
 
Both pitchers settled down after that. Pojoaque picked up a run off Luster in the top of the fourth inning when Anissa Herrera led off with a double and scored after two ground outs. Los Alamos got a run in the bottom of the fifth inning after singles by Janessa Gonzales and Bluhm. The Hilltoppers added two more runs on a walk, a triple by Luster and a single by DeHerrera. That made the score 14-5 going into the top of the seventh and final inning.
 
The inning started with Jessica Roybal being safe on an error. Ayana Aguirre followed with a double. After a fly out to shortstop, Madison Gonzales, Vigil and Mondragon singled. Elysia Gonzales drew a bases-loaded walk to force in a run.
 
The bases were still loaded with one out. Pojoaque leadoff hitter Herrera came to the plate.
 
Herrera already has one grand slam home run this season. Another bases-loaded blast would make the score 14-12 and likely send Pojoaque into an intense celebration.
 
Luster came up with the big out she needed, striking out Herrera. Aiyana Gipson brought two more runs home with a single to make the score 14-10. Roybal, who had led off the inning, popped out to second to end the game.
 
Coming off the disappointing losses in Taos, where Los Alamos Coach Robbie Harris felt his team just didn’t show up, he was glad to see them come out and play hard.
 
“I had to make sure they had their heads into today’s game,” Harris said. “They came out ready and played well.”
 
Luster picked up the win. In a game that was dominated by offense, Los Alamos shortstop DeHerrera came up with some defensive gems that likely saved some runs.
 
“Savana did a fantastic job and Aspen had a fantastic game at shortstop,” Harris said. “We just need to keep it going the rest of the season.”
 
Los Alamos plays Moriarty High School Saturday in a doubleheader at Los Alamos.

Savana Luster winding up for a pitch in the 1st inning. Photo by Nate Limback

Maya McMillan hits a ground ball early in the game for a base hit. Photo by Nate Limback

Center fielder, Alicia Gonzales, catches a deep hit ball. Photo by Nate Limback

Claire Bluhm connecting for a base hit. She also went 4-4 in the game. Photo by Nate Limback

Savana Luster running to 3rd base after a well hit ball. Photo by Nate Limback

Aspen DeHerrera snagging a pop fly to end the inning. Photo by Nate Limback

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