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It will be a full month since the last time the White Rock-Los Alamos All-Star junior softball team took the field when it starts the Southwest Regional championship tournament.
The Little League regional tournament starts Friday in Santa Fe. The WR-LA team will take on the Vidalia, La., All-Stars, the Louisiana state champion, in the opening round Friday at noon.
All of the tournament games will be played at Bicentennial Park in Santa Fe. WR-LA, which won the District 1 tournament, got an automatic bid into the regional since District 1 is the host district this year.
WR-LA claimed the district championship and the berth at regionals with two wins over the Santa Fe All-Stars early in July, but hasn’t had any competition since that time. WR-LA manager Roger Anaya said it’s been a challenge to keep the team sharp and ready for the regional tournament, but he thinks if his players can get mentally in the ballgame early, they should be OK.
“It may be at the beginning we’ll have some jitters, but we’ll put everything behind us,” he said. “We have to make sure we stay focused. We can’t make mistakes. That could be the difference in these games.”
The regional is comprised of six teams this year. New Mexico state champion, Copper, has a first-round bye — because WR-LA got an automatic bid to regionals, it didn’t compete in the state tournament.
Anaya said either Madeline Lockhart or Morgan Hohner would get the starting pitching nod for Friday’s opening round game.
At the district tournament, WR-LA came back from a late 7-5 deficit to top Santa Fe in extra innings, 8-7, then topped Santa Fe in an elimination game the following night, 15-4.
Here is the bracket for the Little League junior softball southwest regional tournament. All games will be played at Bicentennial Park in Santa Fe (* denotes elimination game).
Game 1: Bridge City, Texas vs. Colorado, 9:30 a.m.
Game 2: White Rock-Los Alamos vs. Vidalia, La., noon.
Game 3: Eagle Pass, Texas vs. Game 1 winner, 9:30 a.m.
Game 4: Copper (Bayard) vs. Game 2 winner, noon.
Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 9:30 a.m.*
Game 6: Game 2 loser vs. Game 3 loser, noon.*
Game 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 3 p.m.*
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 9:30 a.m.
Game 9: Game 8 winner vs. Game 7 loser, noon.*
Game 10: Game 7 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 11 a.m.*
Game 11 (if necessary): Regional championship game, 30 minutes after Game 10.*