Softball: WR feels good heading to state

-A A +A
By Mike Cote

The White Rock Juniors All-Stars will be heading into the state softball tournament on a high note.

White Rock downed Española Valley in the best-of-three series for the District 1 title Sunday, getting a complete game shutout from Monika Teter en route to an 8-0 victory to win.

The Juniors Little League tournament starts Friday at Albuquerque — Alameda Little League is hosting — and continues through Tuesday. White Rock and Española Valley both advanced to the tournament as the top two teams from each district are invited to participate.

As of this morning White Rock will play its first round game at 5:30 p.m. Friday, however, because one team dropped out after the bracket was released, a revised bracket was forthcoming.

Española Valley could be one of the big beneficiaries of a new eight-team bracket, as it was originally scheduled to take part in a play-in game Friday.

White Rock and Española Valley played three games in two days to determine the seeding for the state tournament.

Teter won both Saturday’s game one and Sunday’s game three.

In the third game to clinch the district title, Teter allowed just two hits and struck out 13 batters.

White Rock manager Jim Zerr said he feels his team has both the pitching tools and the bats to make a serious tournament run.

“We’re hitting pretty good and we’re fielding pretty good,” Zerr said. “We’ve got four good pitchers (for this tournament)…I feel we’ve got a good shot.

Zerr said the team is healthy, although one of his pitchers will miss this tournament for personal reasons.

At the plate, several of White Rock’s All-Stars have been swinging the bat well. White Rock scored 20 runs in its two wins, although it scored just twice in its game two loss.

Aimee Gutierrez, Rachel Anaya, Dominique Sandoval and Mariah Zerr have all been productive at the plate so far this postseason.

At the state tournament, however, pitching will improve and games will likely be much lower scoring.

Zerr is confident that his team is ready for that challenge, however.

“We definitely have the team to take state,” he said. “We’ve got to come with our ‘A’ game. The way these work, the team that makes the least amount of errors will win these games.”

Barring changes, the tournament is scheduled to run through Tuesday.