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The Los Alamos Hilltopper softball got its long road trip started off on the right foot Saturday.
Los Alamos picked up wins in both ends of a big District 2-4A doubleheader Saturday, closing both games against the Española Valley Sundevils out in five innings.
In the valley, the Hilltoppers dropped the Sundevils 14-4 in the opener, then followed that up with a 16-3 win in the nightcap. The wins improved the Hilltoppers to 7-1 in 2-4A play (12-10 overall) and put them a full game ahead of the Santa Fe Demons atop the district standings.
Los Alamos still has four district games remaining, including three against the two teams that are still alive in the 2-4A race, but getting past Española Valley Saturday could provide a big boost.
“The main thing is to stay ahead of the district,” Hilltopper manager Roger Anaya said.
Española Valley, which had won the previous two district titles before Los Alamos won in 2009 and 2010, has traditionally been a tough opponent. Such was the case for Los Alamos in the teams’ first meeting April 6, in which it nipped the Sundevils 4-2.
Saturday, Hilltopper pitcher Monika Teter threw and won both ends of the doubleheader. Teter (9-5), who developed a blister on a finger of her throwing hand Saturday morning, was dominant in the first game and battled through a rough start to the second game to pick up the win there.
Española Valley (7-14, 1-4) scored three times in the bottom of the first to jump out to 3-1 lead – Serena Garcia had a two-run double to spark the Sundevils – but couldn’t drum up a whole lot of offense beyond that for the balance of the game. Teter finished with 10 strikeouts against just two walks.
Los Alamos was able to counter with three runs in the top of the second, then scored five more in the top of the third to take control.
Amethyst Collins went 3-for-3, knocking in two runs and scoring three runs to help out Los Alamos’ cause on offense in that game. Meanwhile, Tina Radosevich finished 4-for-5 with a home run, five RBI and scored three times as well.
In the first game Saturday, the Hilltoppers scored six times in the fifth inning to close out that contest early. Emily Lucero and Micaela Christensen combined to go 5-for-8 at the plate with three doubles and three runs driven in.
Kristin Christensen had a big day at the plate Saturday, finishing 5-for-6 at the plate. She had a triple and three RBI in the first game and a double and two RBI in the nightcap.
“We had a lot of hits and we had a lot of extra-base hits,” Anaya said. “There was an inning where we had six straight hits. The bats really came alive today.”