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Softball: WR teams advance in tournaments

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By Mike Cote

The White Rock Senior League All-Star softball team actually had to come from behind to win Saturday morning’s contest against Pojoaque.

But the 1-0 deficit after half an inning Saturday would be about as much trouble as White Rock would get into through the first two games of its tournament.

White Rock’s Seniors rolled to two crushing wins over their two tournament opponents, Santa Fe National and Pojoaque and can close out a District 1 Little League championship and a trip to the state tournament with a victory today.

White Rock and Pojoaque, which held on to top Santa Fe National in an elimination game Saturday afternoon, will meet again at 1 p.m. today.

Should White Rock win today, it would claim the district title. Should White Rock lose, it would have one more chance Monday against Pojoaque.

The District 1 Senior and Majors All-Star tournaments are both being held at Overlook Park this weekend. The Seniors (ages 14 and up) tournament kicked off Friday night, while the Majors (ages 11-12) got going Saturday morning.

The White Rock Majors, meanwhile, earned a forfeit win over Pojoaque, which could only field eight players Saturday morning — league rules stipulate teams must start and finish a game with no less than nine players.

The Majors tournament continues today with White Rock facing off against Española Valley, a 10-0 winner over Santa Fe National Saturday afternoon. The winner of today’s game, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Minors B Field at Overlook Park, will be in the driver’s seat for the District 1 championship.

White Rock manager Daren Jones said Española Valley is a solid team that has played together virtually the entire Little League season, so White Rock will have to be careful when the two teams square off today.

In the other Majors game scheduled for today, Santa Fe National will face Pojoaque at 1 p.m., should Pojoaque be able to field nine players.

Both tournaments are double-elimination affairs.

The Majors tournament will continue through at least Tuesday at Overlook Park and possibly go until Wednesday, depending on the outcome of Tuesday’s game.

White Rock Seniors 28, Santa Fe National Seniors 0 (5 innings)

White Rock didn’t waste much time getting into the swing of things Friday night, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning en route to a big victory over Santa Fe National.

But Santa Fe National’s wheels started falling off in the third inning when White Rock scored 18 runs and sent 19 batters to the plate before the first out of the inning was recorded.

White Rock pounded out eight hits in the top of the third and was aided tremendously by 13 Santa Fe errors in the inning.

During the third, White Rock catcher Emily Lucero had a pair of hits, including a two-run double driving home Jordan Hammock and Emilee Jones. Kristin Christensen also had a run-scoring double and scored twice during the inning.

Jones started the game and didn’t allow a hit in two innings of work, while Amethyst Collins pitched the final three innings to close out the victory.

White Rock Seniors 21, Pojoaque Seniors 4 (5 innings)

While White Rock’s Seniors got down quickly in Saturday morning’s ballgame, they didn’t stay down for long.

The lead-off batter of the ballgame, Pojoaque’s Jade Romero, hit a stand-up triple to get things going in the top of the first and scored on a wild pitch two batters later, but following that, the balance of the contest was all White Rock.

In White Rock’s first at-bat, lead-off hitter Aimee Gutierrez hit an inside-the-park home run to right field, while Ari Larkin would knock in Alyssa Mojica two batters later on back-to-back singles to give White Rock a lead it wouldn’t surrender.

White Rock would take full control of the contest in the bottom of the second, scoring 10 times to grab a 12-1 edge.

In that inning, Gutierrez came through with a RBI base hit to get things rolling. Mojica, Jones and Lucero would having run-scorning hits later in the inning, while Vikki Lee drove in a pair of runs with her single off Pojoaque starting pitcher Catalina Rios.

Rios gave way to Kassie Martinez after 1-2/3 innings.

On the slab for White Rock, Mojica threw three innings to pick up the victory. Jones gave up just one unearned runs in the final two innings of the contest.

Christensen hit another inside-the-park homer in the third which scored three runs.

For Pojoaque, Romero was 2-for-2 with two runs scored and two more driven in.

White Rock manager Tommy Mojica praised his team after the game.

“They are dedicated,” he said, noting that he has managed his core players since they were in Majors. “They’re the ones who come out here during the summer and do this when they could be doing other things.”

Pojoaque Seniors 26, Santa Fe National Seniors 9 (5 innings)

To stay alive in the tournament, Pojoaque knocked off Santa Fe National in its second game of Saturday.

Pojoaque scored 12 times in the top of the first and tacked on seven more in the top of the fifth to end the contest early.

Romero again had a big game, going 4-for-5 at the plate for Pojoaque, scoring three times, while teammate Celestina Martinez was 2-for-4 with a double.

For Santa Fe, both Alexis Gallegos and Jennifer Gonzales finished 2-for-3. Gonzales had a double and scored a run.