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Softball dominates Sundevils in doubleheader sweep

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By Phil Scherer

With a pair of dominant performances Saturday afternoon against Española Valley High School, the Los Alamos High School softball team continued its pursuit of another District 2-5A title as the offense continued to hit at a high level, and the pitchers kept runners off the bases all afternoon. 

These were important games for LAHS, which entered the weekend 2-1 in district play, and faced a team that the Hilltoppers struggled against a year ago. In 2017, the Sundevils were the only District 2-5A team to defeat LAHS, and in two other games the Hilltoppers struggled to pick up victories. 

This year, however, it was a different story. LAHS came out swinging from the start and picked up 4 runs in the bottom of the first inning to take control early. 

On the mound, Reyna Lucero dominated for the Hilltoppers, giving up only six hits and 1 run in the game. Behind her strong pitching effort, LAHS cruised and continued to add on runs. 

The Hilltoppers scored 3 runs in the third inning and added 3 more runs in the fourth inning to put the game away. 

Leading by 9 runs heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, LAHS needed only 1 run to end the game via the mercy rule. And it happened immediately as consecutive hits brought the winning run across home plate, giving the Hilltoppers an 11-1 win. 

The Hilltoppers picked up five doubles in the game, with two apiece from Jayde Tucker and Alicia Gonzales, and one from Megan Romero. The biggest hit of the game came from Jordan Jaramillo, who lined a home run over the left field wall. It was her first home run of the season. 

Gonzales continued her incredible season at the plate, going 4-4 to improve her season batting average to .585. She has picked up 17 extra base hits this season, including 11 doubles and two home runs. 

It appeared Española Valley would have a better offensive attack in the second game with Katie Wimer on the mound for the Hilltoppers. After allowing 3 runs to score in the top of the first inning, however, Wimer allowed nothing else, holding the Sundevils to only five hits and 3 runs, while issuing two walks and striking out three batters. 

After going down 3-0, The Hilltoppers answered back with 2 runs in the bottom of the first and 5 more runs in the bottom of the second to take a 7-3 lead. Then LAHS, erupted for 4 more runs in the bottom of the third inning and another 4 runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 15-3 lead. 

After Wimer was able to retire the side in the top of the fifth inning, the game was over because of the mercy rule. 

With the pair of wins, the Hilltoppers improve to 11-7 this season, and 4-1 in District 2-5A play. The team also improves to 6-1 in games played at Overlook Park. 

LAHS will get back to action today on the road against Capital High School at 4 p.m. The Jaguars are 10-4 this season, and 3-2 in district play. It is likely that the battle for the district crown could come down to these two teams, making this afternoon’s contest even more important.