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A big start and a big finish helped put Tuesday’s game away early for the Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team.
Los Alamos scored seven runs in the first two innings of its contest against the Pojoaque Valley Elkettes, then exploded for five runs in the home half of the fifth to win 13-3 in a mercy-rule shortened game at Overlook Park.
Hilltopper reserve third baseman Madeline Lockhart lined a triple into right field with the bases juiced in the fifth inning to set Los Alamos up for the winning scores at the end of the contest. Lockhart and Krysta Salazar would come in to score later in the inning to finish off the Elkettes.
“We’re making good contact,” Hilltopper manager Roger Anaya said. “Today we obviously hit the ball well.”
Just one game after the Hilltoppers pounded out 18 hits, 9 of those going for extra bases, in a win over Moriarty, the Hilltoppers slugged out six extra-base hits, at least one in every inning but the third, the only inning they didn’t score.
Los Alamos (3-4) jumped on Pojoaque Valley starting pitcher Angelica Romero early, getting a pair of doubles from Aletta Marciano, hitting out of the 3-hole, and Hannah Mojica in the 5-spot.
Los Alamos scored two quick runs and might have had more if not for good defensive stops by Pojoaque Valley’s shortstop Kyra Romero and first baseman Gabriella Gonzales, who snagged a pop fly that was juggled by teammate Analisa Lovato for the third out.
Kyra Romero was one of the few bright spots on the day for the Elkettes (0-2), who had their second 10-run loss to start their 2014 season — Pojoaque Valley was shut out one day earlier by Santa Fe. Romero tripled and scored the Elkettes’ first run of the game in the fourth and drove home their other two runs in the sixth.
On the slab for Los Alamos, Emilee Jones earned the win. Jones threw a complete game and didn’t allow a baserunner until Romero’s lead-off triple in the fourth.
Jones made effective use of her hard stuff, running fastballs inside and outside to keep Pojoaque Valley’s hitters in a defensive mode.
At the plate, Marciano went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs Tuesday, while Salazar, who is just rejoining the team from the basketball season, was 2-for-3 with a double and drove in another run.
Salazar, Kiana Zerr and Makela Jones, who all started, have already paid dividends in just the short time they’ve been out with the softball team.
“They got out here and it’s like they never missed anything,” Anaya said. “They got off and running. That’s always nice.”