Hilltoppers hold on to first place with their third straight success, Capital drops to third
By Arnie Leshin
Its record speaks for itself, shows the state’s history in softball from 1976 to the present, but you won’t find a school from the north among the champions. Ten have reached the finals and are 0-10.
West Las Vegas (3 times), St. Michael’s (twice), Santa Fe Indian School (twice), Raton and Los Alamos once each, have gotten that far, but never went further.
Now Los Alamos, which last played in the championship contest in 1983, is confident of returning, making history.
After Wednesday’s 12-6 District 2-5A win at Capital, Hilltopper senior Lauren Harris, whose dad is an assistant coach, spoke out.
“We want to go to state,” she said. “We want to win state.”
The district leader at 5-1 (12-7 overall), Los Alamos has won many state championships, but never from the circle.
But winning district doesn’t always do the trick, especially for the northern schools. The champions have been Carlsbad and Loving 16 times, Cobre, Silver and Piedra Vista nine times, and Bloomfield and Farmington eight times. These schools are south. east and west.
Capital is having one of its best seasons in years at 10-5 overall and 3-3 in district, but did not help itself by committing seven errors, all helpful to the visitors. Plus, Jags’ senior JoJo Bowannie, the team’s leading hitter, played while still hampered by a sore right wrist.
“We make errors,” said Jaguars’ head coach Sig Rivera, “and the girls get quiet, but that’s not good, they need to be talkative.”
Miscues and timely hitting helped the Toppers to a 6-0 lead. Harris, whose freshman sister, Jenna, is also on the varsity, had three hits and a pair of RBI, one on a solo home run in the 4-run sixth that upped the margin to 10-6.
In the bottom of the sixth, Capital tried to make a game of it, scoring six times, with freshman Alex Hernandez singling in a pair. Jaguar starter, freshman Marley Cardenas, was down only 3-0 after three, but that’s when the errors began.
It was the third win in a row for Los Alamos, which has a district doubleheader at Albuquerque Del Norte Saturday. The Knights lost 14-4 at home Wednesday to second place Espanola Valley.
In a 2-5A contest at Robertson, the Cardinals took a 7-3 triumph from Pojoaque Valley.