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While the Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team fell short of its stated goal to earn at least a split Friday with one of the top teams in New Mexico, Friday’s showing was good enough to at least give the team the feeling it can hang.
Los Alamos was swept in its season-ending doubleheader at Overlook Park. Los Alamos, hosting the six-time defending state champ Piedra Vista, fell in the first game 9-3, then dropped the second game 16-6 in six innings.
Piedra Vista, which has been the class of New Mexico for its reign, boasts a powerful lineup from top-to-bottom. That lineup would eventually wear down Hilltopper ace pitcher Monika Teter in both contests. Teter threw all 13 innings Friday.
In both contests, Piedra Vista took a quick lead, Los Alamos rallied in the fourth inning to get back into the game, then Piedra Vista came right back to in the top of the fifth to grab full control once again.
With the Panthers looking to put game two away early, the Hilltoppers (19-7) rallied for six runs in the fourth, chopping what was an eight-run lead down to two. In that inning, the Hilltoppers sent 11 batters to the plate.
Emily Lucero doubled in Amiee Gutierrez and Micaela Christensen, who both singled to open the inning. Lucero’s double momentarily chased Piedra Vista pitcher Krissy Fortner out, bringing in Breanna Salas.
Salas struck out the next two batters she faced, but Teter came through with another double, followed three batters later by a two-run single from Dancie Smith and a RBI single from Gutierrez.
Fortner, who threw all but that two-thirds of an inning Friday, was re-inserted and closed out the game without allowing another run.
Piedra Vista’s No. 2 batter Susie Chandler had a big day, going 3-for-5 with a double, a triple and five RBI in game two. For Los Alamos, Kristin Christensen went 2-for-4 with a RBI in game one.