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‘Toppers Take Advantage of Errors

WHITE ROCK, N.M. — Los Alamos ace Monika Teter gave up five hits, while Santa Fe’s Camille Romero yielded just four. But all that proved was that there’s more than one way to score runs in softball.

That’s because, despite a light-hitting day for the Hilltoppers (10-10, 5-1 District 2-4A), the host squad took advantage of seven Demonette errors to take a share of first place in the district, with an 8-2 win over Santa Fe (8-11, 5-1) on Wednesday at Overlook Park.

The Demonettes committed two errors in the first inning that led to four runs, and it only got worse from there. Los Alamos added a run in the third off Santa Fe’s third gaffe, and then two more runs on errors five and six in the fifth inning. Kristina Radosevich recorded the lone ‘Topper RBI, with a single during the same at-bat.

“Los Alamos maybe got three solid shots all game, and that was pretty much it — we contributed” to their runs, Santa Fe coach Sig Rivera said. “But you got to give Teter credit. She threw hard.”

The ‘Toppers right-hander improved to 7-5 after allowing two runs off five hits for the complete-game win.

Romero, who did not give up an earned run, allowed one hit through the first four innings before yielding two in the fifth and one in the sixth. While Rivera wanted to make sure that the defensive errors didn’t overshadow his pitcher’s performance, it was hard to overlook, considering five of those seven errors were charged to Romero, who struggled making the throw to first base on infield hits and bunts.

“It’s the simple stuff. We’re trying to get her to set her feet before she throws — she’s rushing it too much,” he said. “We practice it, but that will only help so much. … Right now it’s all mental.”

Los Alamos coach Roger Anaya, however, would like to think that his squad had something to do with at least a few of those Demonette gaffes.

“We tried to put pressure on them with our short game. We didn’t do too well bunting last week, so that was something we were working on,” he said. “I wished our bats were a little bit better, but we were able to manufacture runs. But overall, we played well. I was a little disappointed toward the end — we could have avoided a couple of those mistakes — but that’s the way it goes.”

In Santa Fe’s final at-bat, trailing 8-0 with two outs, Teter walked Jackie Martinez before giving up an infield single to Francesca Perdue. But the throw to second base would wind up in the outfield, advancing the runners into scoring position. Romero then drove a single to right-center field to score both runs. Teter admitted that she was a bit shaken at that point.

“I just tried to regroup with my catcher, Micaela (Christensen),” she said. “We were like, ‘OK, we’re in our zone. We can’t control what’s going on around us, so let’s just get that out.’”

That huddle in the pitcher’s circle seemed to do the trick, as Teter recorded her 12th strikeout of the day to seal the win. While Teter and company are, no doubt, looking forward to the rematch — a doubleheader in both teams’ regular-season finale at Santa Fe on May 7 — she insisted they aren’t looking far forward.

“We have to play every game until then like it’s a championship game,” she said. “We got to play Española, and we got play Bernalillo with that same intensity. That’s what helps this team; playing intense helps us focus.”

Photo Credit – eddie moore/journal
Cutline – ABOVE: Los Alamos’ Monika Teter delivers a pitch during the team’s game against Santa Fe High in White Rock on Wednesday. The Hilltoppers won, 8-2.