Softball: Toppers blanked in 2AAAA games

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By Mike Cote

ESPAÑOLA — Only three games into the District 2AAAA season and already the Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team has a deep hole to climb out of.The Hilltoppers dropped both ends of a big early district season doubleheader Saturday to the Española Valley Sundevils.The Sundevils, the defending district champs and considered the team to beat in 2AAAA this season blanked the Hilltoppers twice Saturday, winning 9-0 in the opener and 10-0 in the nightcap.The two games were quick affairs, getting over before the concurrent first game of the Los Alamos-Española Valley baseball game was wrapped up.Little went right for the Hilltoppers in either game, including manager Randy Burditt considering the consequences of protesting game one because the games’ umpires didn’t have proof of state certification on their uniforms.But the Hilltoppers struggled with their bats in the first game. They actually kept the game within reasonable striking distance until the Sundevils blew the contest open with four runs in the sixth inning.In the sixth, Española Valley picked up four hits off starter Ashley Merhege, who had allowed just four hits in the game up to that point.

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