Hilltopper softball earns trip to state tournament

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By Phil Scherer

Despite failing to win the district championship on the last day of the regular season, the Los Alamos High School softball team will head to the Class 4A state tournament Saturday afternoon. 

The Hilltoppers earned the No, 14 seed in the tournament, and will face off against No. 3 seed Aztec in the first round. The game will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at Aztec High School.

The tournament expanded to 16 teams this year after only inviting 12 teams in recent years. In the past, the top four seeds received an automatic bye to the quarterfinals while the bottom eight teams competed in play-in games for the right to go to the quarterfinals. 

Now, all 16 teams compete in a play-in game at the higher seeded team for the right to advance to the quarterfinals. 

This will be the second year in a row LAHS and Aztec will face off in the first round of the tournament. 

Last year, Aztec defeated the Hilltoppers 14-7 after LAHS jumped out to an early 5-0 lead. 

The Hilltoppers had a chance to potentially earn a higher seed in this year’s tournament heading into the final day of the season, but split a doubleheader with Pojoaque Valley, handing the district title to the Elkettes. 

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