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Softball: Toppers score 29 runs in final two games at St. Pius

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By Mike Cote

In just two games, the Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team nearly quadrupled its run total for the season, scoring 29 runs in the final two rounds of the St. Pius X Invitational.Los Alamos pounded out 24 hits in five innings Friday against Bernalillo and scored seven runs in a big fourth inning Saturday against Albuquerque Academy.“They exploded,” Hilltopper manager Randy Burditt said of his squad.Los Alamos took its final two games of the St. Pius Invitational, topping Bernalillo’s Spartans 19-3 Friday and knocking off Academy 10-7 Saturday.Los Alamos took the silver bracket of the tournament with Saturday’s win. With his All-Tournament selection for his squad, Burditt chose his entire team.Friday’s and Saturday’s wins came after an opening round loss to Santa Fe, that by a 4-3 count Thursday.Against Bernalillo, Los Alamos’ District 2AAAA rival, six Hilltoppers had multi-hit games, paced by a 5-for-6 outing by Briana Radosevich and a 4-for-5, four RBI outing from Samantha Aumack.It was the second win of the season by the Hilltoppers over the Spartans. Those wins, however, don’t count in the 2AAAA standings.Also on Friday, Kristina Radosevich went 2-for-5 with three runs driven in and Nyleen Cook was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI.Los Alamos had a whopping 51 plate appearances in Friday’s game.Stephanie Abney (1-1) was credited with the pitching victory, going five innings and giving up five hits, all singles. She allowed two earned runs, struck out five and walked none.Ashley Merhege (2-2) took the win Saturday, throwing a complete game. Merhege threw 119 pitches in the contest, in which she allowed just two earned runs.She got herself in trouble early in Saturday’s game, in which Burditt said she didn’t have her best stuff, but she was able to work out of it.But Los Alamos was able to break open the game in the seven-run fourth inning. Academy was struggling with its bunt defense and Los Alamos started laying them down better than Academy was picking them up.The Hilltoppers (3-4) were also very active on the bases. Megan Burditt, who had a big tournament for Los Alamos, stole three bases in three tries against the Chargers, and Briana Radosevich also had a stolen base in the fourth inning.Burditt and Aumack each had two hits Saturday. Aumack drove in three runs and Burditt plated two more.Academy got back into the game in the sixth inning, pushing four runs across, but never grabbed the lead.“After that first loss, the kids bounced back really well,” coach Burditt said. “They didn’t let that loss affect them offensively or defensively.”Los Alamos will travel to Moriarty Tuesday to take on the Pintos. Moriarty has a strong top of its order and Burditt said his team will have to keep the first four batters off the bases as much as possible.