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In its nondistrict contest against the Raton Tigers, the Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team had little on the line except avenging a 2011 loss at Raton.
However, Los Alamos ace pitcher Monika Teter may have had more than that on her mind. Teter, the losing pitcher in last year’s contest, threw perhaps as hard as she has all season in blowing away the Tigers.
Teter struck out 17 batters, at least two in each inning, and tossed a complete game shutout as the Hilltoppers prevailed 5-0 at Overlook Park Saturday.
Los Alamos never fully broke open Saturday’s contest, but it didn’t need to the way Teter was throwing. She gave up just two hits — both singles and only one of them solidly struck — and allowed neither a walk nor a runner to get even as far as third base.
Hilltopper manager Roger Anaya said the offensive support her team did give her was good enough.
“She pitches very well with the lead,” he said. “With the defense we have playing behind her, she’s very relaxed out there.”
Los Alamos first baseman Erin Kirk delivered what would be the game-winning hit in the bottom of the first, dropping a single down the left field line to bring home Krysta Salazar and Micaela Christensen.
Raton pitcher Shania Dorrance was mostly solid throughout the contest, but allowed eight walks and hit Christensen in the first inning. Those streaks of wildness proved to be her undoing despite giving up only four hits herself.
With Los Alamos leading 2-0 in the third, Dorrance issued two straight passes to Kristin Christensen and Kirk. The next batter, Alyssa Mojica, lined a single into left that was bobbled in the outfield, allowing Emily Lucero and Kristin Christensen to score on the play.
Mojica, who swung the bat very well in a sweep over Española Valley a week earlier, once again came through from the designated hitter spot, doubling home the Hilltoppers’ fifth run in the fifth inning.
However, Los Alamos (13-4) would end up stranding nine runners on base, six of those in scoring position.
For Teter, only one ball left the infield all day, a clean single to right field in the third inning by Raton’s Alyssa Eggebrecht. Teter started off the game striking out five of the first six batters she faced and struck out seven of eight hitters between the fourth and sixth.
Both pitchers took advantage of a generous strike zone off the outside corner of the plate.
For the Hilltoppers, it was their ninth straight victory and fifth straight shutout — Teter pitched four of those shutouts. Los Alamos has outscored its opponents 95-10 on its current win streak.
NOTES: Los Alamos, which currently sits at 6-0 in District 2-4A play, will take on Bernalillo at home Wednesday. Bernalillo is currently 3-2 in district with both of those losses coming against the Hilltoppers March 24 ... Hilltopper Dancie Smith, who was injured in game one of last week’s doubleheader and sat out game two, is back in the starting lineup for the Hilltoppers ... Los Alamos’ early-season postponement with Kirtland Central has been rescheduled for April 24.