Jumping into the season with both feet is challenge enough as it is, but the Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team will be doing so without several of its key personnel.
Today, the Hilltoppers will open their season at Overlook Park, taking on the Class 4A Belen Eagles at 4 p.m.
That game will be the first of six contests in this first week of the regular season. Along with Belen, which started off the season with a big 12-4 victory over Sandia Prep Friday, Los Alamos will also see heavyweights in Cleveland, a well-respected Class 5A team and Piedra Vista, the 800-pound gorilla of Class 4A.
Los Alamos will have to do so without the services of Erin Kirk and Kiana Zerr, two regular starters, among others who are still playing basketball and could continue for two more weeks.
The absences have limited the Hilltoppers’ workouts a little bit, Los Alamos manager Roger Anaya said, but he said there’s been plenty to drill on during the preseason.
“We’ve been concentrating a lot on defense the last three or four weeks,” said Anaya, who is going into his fifth year steering the Hilltoppers. “Batting’s been a little challenging early this season because it’s been pretty cold, but as the weather has warmed up, we’ve had some good batting practice.”