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The Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team dropped both ends of its doubleheader on the road Tuesday.
The Hilltoppers, playing a very tough Los Lunas Tigers squad, was beaten in six innings in the opener, 13-3, then was nipped in the second game, 5-4.
Los Alamos actually led 2-0 early in the first game. The contest was close until the bottom of the fifth when Los Lunas erupted for six runs to take control.
In game two, Monika Teter, just four days removed from the basketball season, made her first start, going the distance, but Los Lunas scored a pair of runs off her in the bottom of the sixth go up 5-0. Los Alamos rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh, but Los Lunas’ D’Ana Gabaldon fanned the final Hilltopper batter to secure the win for the Tigers.
“This was a big test for us,” Los Alamos manager Roger Anaya said. “Los Lunas is one of the best 4A teams in the state. I am very proud of how we battled back, especially in the second game. We have a few things to work on, but these games gave us an indication of where we are and where we need to be.”
Tuesday’s game was originally scheduled to be a single game in Los Alamos, but was moved to Los Lunas and switched to a doubleheader partially because the Hilltoppers’ appearance in the Piedra Vista Invitational was snowed out this weekend, costing the Hilltoppers four scheduled games.
In game one Tuesday, Micaela Christensen opened the first inning with a two-run homer to give the Hilltoppers a 2-0 lead. Los Lunas battled back to score five runs over the next four innings against Los Alamos starting pitcher Rachel Anaya.
Emilee Jones relieved Anaya in the bottom of the fifth just as Los Lunas’ bats heated up. Los Lunas manufactured a six-run rally to go up big and close out the game the next inning.
In game two, Los Lunas scored twice in the bottom of the third, taking advantage of a pair of hits and a pair of walks against Teter, a senior who has been the Hilltoppers’ ace since her freshman year.
After moving ahead 5-0 at the end of six, Los Alamos battled back. Ari Larkin had a pinch-hit, two-run double and Alyssa Mojica had a pinch-hit two-run single to cut the Tiger lead down to one, but Los Alamos couldn’t find the tying run.
Los Alamos was held to just three hits in the second game. In the first game, Aimee Gutierrez went 2-for-3 at the plate, but Los Alamos managed just five hits in that contest to the Tigers’ 15.
The Hilltoppers (1-2) will have their first home game Thursday against Class 5A Cleveland. They won’t appear at home again until March 29.