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Needing a win to bounce back from a disappointing loss, the Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team picked it up Thursday.
Los Alamos broke open a tight ballgame with three runs in the bottom of the fourth at home. Los Alamos led just 3-1 after 3-1/2 innings, but widened that to a 6-1 advantage and cruised the rest of the way against the Albuquerque Academy Chargers.
The Hilltoppers pounded out 11 hits Thursday, six of them going for extra bases, as they won 9-1 at Overlook Park.
A day earlier, Los Alamos opened its District 2-4A season. Kiana Zerr had one of the best pitching outings of her career, but it wasn’t good enough to pick up a win, as Bernalillo nipped Los Alamos 1-0.
Against Academy, Jordan Hammock had another big day on the slab. Hammock retired the first 10 batters she faced and gave up just two hits in a complete game win.
The win over Academy gives Los Alamos a leg up over a Class 4A team that might be on the bubble come time to pick at-large teams for the playoffs next month.
Hammock struck out four hitters in the first two innings while her offense found its groove against Charger starting pitcher Katie Moore. The only run she allowed, which came in the fourth, was unearned.
At the plate, catcher Aletta Marciano went 3-for-3 with a triple and drove in a run. Shelby Chavez had a triple in the fourth inning to drive in a pair of runs, the big blow that all but wrapped up the win for Los Alamos.
Los Alamos had four triples — Krysta Salazar and Hannah Mojica both had triples in the contest — taking advantage of the suspect throwing arms in the Charger outfield.
On the slab, Moore went four innings, giving up six runs. Although five of those runs were earned, the defense behind Moore failed to make several plays that might have made a difference in the second and fourth innings.
Thursday’s win for Los Alamos (6-9) over Acaedemy (6-6) was its finale against nondistrict competition this season. Los Alamos has only District 2-4A games remaining on its slate the rest of the way, staring Saturday.
The Hilltoppers will take on the Santa Fe Demons in a doubleheader Saturday. Game one is set for 11 a.m.
The Demons (6-3) picked up an impressive 12-1 victory Wednesday in their district opener against Española Valley, finishing with three home runs in that game.