Braves shut down Hatch Valley, then lose to Shiprock and Robertson, while Hilltoppers lose to Aztec
By Arnie Leshin
Santa Fe Indian School didn’t have much time to enjoy its short stay in the state 4A softball tournament.
Seeded fifth, the Braves wrapped up a 16-2 5-inning mercy-rule rout over Hatch Valley at Rio Rancho Cleveland High Wednesday, but then met up with 3rd seeded District 2-4A champion Robertson and the end result was an 11-2 setback not long after.
Next came Indian School’s exit when it fell 15-1 in the consolation round to 8th seeded Shiprock and wound up with a 22-6 overall record.
The only run against the Chieftains came in the fifth inning when Franki Chavez led off with a single and sped all the way home on a throwing error by Shiprock catcher Allsha Wilson.
But Wilson did her part in the 10-run Shiprock third. The big blow came when she smashed a bases-loader grounder down the third base line for an inside-the-park home run.
No problem with Hatch Valley, but Robertson was a bit too much. Now 21-6, the Cards got a strong pitching effort from senior right-hander Kendra Duran as she gave up only four hits while striking out eight.
And the hit parade began early for Robertson. In the first frame, it scored seven times via six hits and a walk. It began on a walk to Duran, then Makalya Quintana, up for the second time in the inning after making the first out, clouted a double over the head of centerfielder Leanna Lewis for the last two runs.
Braves’ starter, Alexis Garcia, recovered from the disastrous opening inning by settling down after yielding a run the next frame. She relied on her defense and retired 13 in a row before the Cardinals upped the lead to 11-0 in the seventh on a pair of hits, two wild pitches by Garcia, and a fielding error.
This lined up Robertson with top seed Silver, state champion for the past seven years, and drove the Cards into the consolation bracket while the Colts moved on to face 2nd seeded Bernalillo after shutting down Robertson, 9-0, while the Spartans gained a 12-6 triumph over 6th seeded Portales.
Also in 4A, 7th seeded West Las Vegas blanked 10th seed Albuquerque Hope Christian, 10-0, and then bowed to 3rd seed Cobre, 13-0.
In 5A, District 2-5A champion Los Alamos came in as the 10th seed and dropped a 14-7 contest to 7thseeded Aztec to conclude its season at 18-9.
It was a good start for the Hilltoppers as they scored four times in the first and once in the second. But back came Aztec (14-13) to plate four runs each in the bottom of the third and fourth innings. It added another run in the fifth and five more in the sixth, while Los Alamos scored twice in its last at-bats.
Extra Hits: The school with the most state softball tiles is small-school Loving with 16. Next comes Carlsbad with 14, while Silver has won 11 and Cobre 10. A school from Northern New Mexico has never won state softball.