Softball: Toppers face off against Scorpions in first round

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team ended up in the state Class AAAA playoff seeding right about where manager Roger Anaya figured it would be.

Eyeballing the potential Class AAAA bracket prior to Sunday’s seeding and selection meeting, Anaya guessed his team would end up somewhere between No. 12 and No. 14.

Los Alamos was seeded No. 13.

The AAAA playoffs start Thursday in Las Cruces. Games will be played at the Field of Dreams Complex and the Maag Complex in Las Cruces. The double-elimination tournament continues through Saturday.

The Hilltoppers finished as the District 2AAAA runners-up behind the Española Valley Sundevils, who were placed in the top half of the 16-team bracket, picking up a No. 8 seed.

The district qualified three teams for the postseason, with Bernalillo also getting a nod as the 16th and final entry in the softball draw, something Anaya said he was pleased to see.

Los Alamos and Bernalillo, however ended up being the two lowest-seeded teams in the draw that posted winning records in 2009.

Unsurprisingly, the Piedra Vista Panthers picked up the top seed in the AAAA bracket. The Panthers posted one of the three best won-loss records in the state (22-4) and swept its very tough District 1AAAA competitors (8-0).

District 1AAAA sent four of its five teams to the state tournament, including Los Alamos’ first round opponent, Farmington, which picked up a fourth seed.

Farmington’s Scorpions (16-6) finished second behind Piedra Vista, the defending AAAA champion two years running. The Scorpions are an upperclassman-heavy unit with nine juniors and five seniors on the postseason roster.

Prior to its final two losses of the season to Piedra Vista, Farmington had won seven straight games and 15 of its previous 16.

Farmington won the state AAAA championship three straight seasons – 2002 through 2004 – and finished second in the state tournament in 2005 and 2006.

Los Alamos, for its part, finished its season winning three straight games, including a 5-2 decision over Española Valley April 29.

The Hilltoppers actually beat the Sundevils head-to-head, winning two of three meetings, but finished second after the Sundevils (15-9) swept the Bernalillo Spartans in their season-ending doubleheader.

Those final three victories of the season for the Hilltoppers put them over the .500 mark (13-11).


Here is the schedule for the first two rounds of the tournament.



First round (all games start at 8 a.m.)

(1) Piedra Vista vs. (16) Bernalillo

(8) Española Valley vs. (9) Moriarty

(5) Volcano Vista vs. (12) Deming

(4) Farmington vs. (13) Los Alamos

(3) Silver vs. (14) Kirtland Central

(6) Del Norte vs. (11) St. Pius X

(7) Roswell vs. (10) Aztec

(2) Artesia vs. (15) Belen


Semifinals (all games start at 2 p.m.)

Piedra Vista-Bernalillo winner vs. Española Valley-Moriarty winner

Volcano Vista-Deming winner vs. Farmington-Los Alamos winner

Silver-Kirtland Central winner vs. Del Norte-St. Pius winner

Roswell-Aztec winner vs. Artesia-Belen winner


Loser’s bracket (all games start at 2 p.m.)

Piedra Vista-Bernalillo loser vs. Española Valley-Moriarty loser

Volcano Vista-Deming loser vs. Farmington-Los Alamos loser

Silver-Kirtland Central loser vs. Del Norte-St. Pius loser

Roswell-Aztec loser vs. Artesia-Belen loser