It was a rough way to start the season for the Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team.
Los Alamos opened its 2014 campaign Wednesday at Overlook Park, but had a tough order to fill in taking on the Cleveland Storm, a Class 5A club from Rio Rancho.
And Cleveland showed why it was tough from the get-go. Cleveland pushed four runs across in the top of the first and scored in every inning of a mercy-rule shortened 15-1 victory.
It was an interesting match-up between two very young teams — most of the Hilltoppers’ opening day roster is sophomores, while the Storm have more freshmen and eighth graders than juniors seniors.
But Cleveland swung the bat very well, touching Los Alamos pitchers Emilee Jones and Jordan Hammock for 19 hits in five innings, including three extra-base, two of them coming from pitcher Brooke Hodgson. Hodgson crushed a fastball off Hammock in the fourth inning for a home run to almost straightaway center, giving herself a 13-1 edge at that time.
Jones threw three innings, giving up 9 runs, before giving way to Hammock, who threw the final two innings.
Following Wednesday’s contest, Los Alamos manager Roger Anaya said his team still has plenty to work on and is still awaiting the return of three basketball players, including ace pitcher Kiana Zerr.