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The Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team hit three home runs in the third inning en route to a rout of the Albuquerque Academy Chargers Thursday.
Christina Perez, Micaela Christensen and Kristin Christensen all went yard in the third inning as the Hilltoppers blanked the Chargers 14-0 in Albuquerque.
It was a big win against a Class 4A team for the Hilltoppers, who earned just their second victory over a rival 4A team this season.
Going into the nondistrict game, Los Alamos was well aware another nondistrict loss could very well spell doom for its chances to make the playoffs should it need an at-large nod.
“A lot of the games we’ve played, they’ve definitely give us a chance to play tough competition,” Los Alamos manager Roger Anaya said. “That’s why we play a tough schedule.”
The downside of playing a tough schedule for the Hilltoppers, however, was that their stock can drop considerably if they end up on the losing side of those contests.
That wasn’t the case Thursday.
Los Alamos pounded out 17 hits, including the three homers. Perez led off the third with a solo shot. After Aletta Marciano doubled her way on two batters later, Micaela Christensen belted a two-run homer. Kristin Christensen, hitting right behind cousin Micaela, followed up with another solo blast.
The Hilltoppers (4-10) jumped all over the Chargers (5-7), scoring five times in the first inning and twice more in the second.
On the slab, Emilee Jones threw a 5-inning complete game to earn the win. She allowed just two hits and the defense played error-free ball behind her.
Jones needed just 68 pitches to complete the game, retiring the side in the bottom of the first on just four pitches.
Los Alamos faced a hard-thrower the day before in Demi Magdalena of Bernalillo, who limited the Hilltoppers to just five hits in a 4-2 Bernalillo victory.
Academy didn’t have a pitcher that had a fastball equal to Magdalena’s and the Hilltopper batters teed off.
The Hilltoppers return to District 2-4A competition Saturday with a doubleheader against Santa Fe (7-4).
Santa Fe (7-4 overall, 1-0 in 2-4A) was an 11-0 winner over Española Valley Wednesday.
“We know their pitching is good. It’s nothing like (Magdalena)…but they also put a lot of runs on the board,” Anaya said. If we play good defense, we’ll keep it close. We need to score when we have opportunities and play with the lead. We play well with the lead. If we can do that, we’ll be OK.”