Softball: LA scores 5 times in fourth to drop Pojoaque

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By Mike Cote

A big five-run rally in the fourth inning, aided by four errors, put Tuesday’s game away for the Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team.
Los Alamos hosted its downhill rival, the Pojoaque Elks, Tuesday at Overlook Park in just its second home appearance of the season. Los Alamos scored 10 runs in a three-inning span and tacked on another in the bottom of the sixth to close out the game early, topping Pojoaque 11-1.
Along with the big offensive effort, Hilltopper pitcher Monika Teter struck out five of the first six batters she faced and gave up just one unearned run on the afternoon as she earned her second victory at home.
Pojoaque finished with four hits Tuesday off Teter but didn’t help its own cause when it did get players on base. Two potential runs were erased on baserunning errors, although one of those was on a suspect call in the fourth inning.
Meanwhile, the errors in the fifth, negating an otherwise decent defensive effort, proved to be the backbreaker for the Elks.
Tina Radosevich, the Hilltoppers’ No. 9 batter, led off the fifth with a stand-up triple that one-hopped to the right field fence. Radosevich scored on the next play, with Ariana Larkin reaching second on a pair of errors.
Aimee Gutierrez and Micaela Christensen both followed with singles, with Christensen knocking in Larkin and Gutierrez scoring on another error to make the score 8-1 in favor of the Hilltoppers.
In the second, Larkin knocked in a run with a base hit. In the third, Erin Kirk had a two-run single and scored on a RBI groundout by Lexi Mang.
Larkin finished 2-for-3 and Teter was 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI.
For the Elks, who suffered their first loss of the season Tuesday, right fielder Mecole Quintana was 1-for-2 with a double. Pojoaque (6-1) third baseman Celestina Martinez drove in the Elks’ only run with an infield hit that brought Tenisha Garcia in from third in the fourth inning.
On the mound, Teter finished with eight strikeouts in six innings and issued just one walk.
It was the second straight double-digit win for the Hilltoppers (4-8), who thumped District 2AAAA rival Santa Fe 12-1 in the finale of the Farmington Invitational last weekend.
 The Hilltoppers have only been involved in three games that were decided by less than six runs so far.