Pojoaque, Espanola Play Key Doubleheader

poj la sb 2 (2)
Pojoaque's Elysia Gonzales connects against Los Alamos High School. Gonzales drove in two runs with a triple and later scored. The Elkettes spotted the Hilltoppers an 11-4 lead and a seventh-inning rally came up short in the Elkettes 14-10 loss April 16 at Los Alamos.

Elkettes, Sundevils Play Key Doubleheader

By George Morse

In the first of what will be two big doubleheaders at home for the Española Valley High School softball team, the Lady Sundevils face local rival Pojoaque Valley High School Saturday.

The two teams have always faced each other during the season. This will be the first season that their rivalry will have importance in district competition now that Pojoaque has joined District 2-4A. The game takes on added importance for Pojoaque after the Elkettes suffered their first loss in District 2-4A 14-10 against Los Alamos High School April 16 at Los Alamos.

Against Los Alamos, the Elkettes spotted the Lady Hilltoppers a big lead and were not able to climb out of the hole they had dug themselves into despite a late-inning rally.

Pojoaque took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. That would be the last time they would lead during the game.

 In the bottom of the first inning, it looked like Pojoaque pitcher Rebecca Chavez was off to a great start after she struck out the first two batters. The second strikeout victim, Janessa Gonzales, reached first safely when the ball got past Pojoaque’s catcher. That slight miscue opened the flood gates.

Two singles, two triples and a single later Los Alamos had put five runs on the board and taken a 5-1 lead.

Pojoaque came back with three runs in the top of the second inning. Madison Gonzales and Halle Vigil led off with singles. Kaelynn Mondragon’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and thir. Elysia Gonzales smacked a triple over the right fielders’s head, scoring two runs. Ariana Salazar’s single scored Elysia Gonzales, making the score 5-4 in favor of Los Alamos.

The Hilltoppers were still hitting the ball hard in the second inning. Two singles, three doubles, another single and a shot to left that ricocheted off the left fielder’s glove and went for another double produced six more runs for Los Alamos that gave the Hilltoppers an 11-4 lead.

Pojoaque pitcher Rebecca Chavez settled down after that and didn’t allow another big inning. Pojoaque picked up a run in the top of the fourth inning after Anissa Herrera led off with a double and later scored on a ground out. Los Alamos scored one run in the bottom of the fifth inning and added two more in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Hilltoppers led 14-5 heading into the seventh inning.

The top of the seventh inning began with Jessica Roybal reaching first on an error. Ayana Aguirre followed with a double. After a deep pop fly was caught by the shortstop, Madison Gonzales, Vigil and Mondragon all singled. Elysia Gonzales drew a bases-loaded walk.

The Hilltoppers picked up a key out when Herrera struck out. Aiyana Gipson singled in two more runs to make the score 14-10 in favor of Los Alamos. Roybal, who had led off the inning, popped out to second to end the rally and the game.

“You can’t be that far behind and wait until the last inning to try to win it,” Pojoaque Coach Chris Ortiz said. “We left too many runners on base.”

Pojoaque had its eight-game winning streak snapped. The Elkettes fell to 5-1 in District 2-4A and are still in first place.

Española is in second place with a 3-2 record, tied with Los Alamos. The Sundevils defeated Taos 9-6 April 16 at Española. The Sundevils broke open a 2-2 tie with six runs in the fifth inning and held off Taos for the victory. Autumn Vigil picked up the win on the mound and went 4-for-4 at the plate for the Sundevils.

Española needs to sweep the doubleheader to take over first place in District 2-4A and hold the tiebreaker over the Elkettes should both teams end the regular season tied in the district standings. Pojoaque defeated Española 11-6 April 2 at Pojoaque.

 

Pojoaque pitcher Rebecca Chavez settled down on the mound and allowed Los Alamos just three runs in the final five innings after giving up 11 runs in the first two innings.