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The Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team will start its 2014 campaign at home this afternoon.
Los Alamos will take on Rio Rancho Cleveland, a very solid Class 5A program, today at Overlook Park.
There are a lot of new faces around the Hilltopper program this season. More than half the team’s opening day roster is sophomores and the team will be looking to fill some key roles early.
Among the biggest questions for Los Alamos is which players will step up on the offensive end following the departure of some of its biggest run-producers like Micaelea Christensen and Erin Kirk.
Los Alamos scored at a healthy 8 runs-per-game clip last season en route to a 14-11 overall record. It went 10-2 in District 2-4A play, including winning 7 games in a row in one stretch, to earn the district title and advance to the state playoffs.
Today’s game will also be the season opener for Cleveland, which also went 14-11 last season.
Cleveland, interestingly, is even younger than Los Alamos, with just three seniors, one junior, and a combined eight freshmen and eighth graders.
For the Hilltoppers, they will have some experienced pitchers returning this season. Kiana Zerr, who is still playing basketball, moved into the ace spot for the Hilltoppers last year, but the pitching staff also includes returners Emilee Jones and Jordan Hammock.
Following today’s game, Los Alamos will travel to the Four Corners area for the Linda Crabtree Challenge. It will play Class 4A powerhouse Piedra Vista Friday morning.