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Class 4A softball: Silver tops Bloomfield, gets a ring for the thumb

RIO RANCHO – The six seniors on Silver’s softball team had a chance to win a state championship every year they were in high school, but not even rain or lightning would destroy their chances.

After Mother Nature caused several delays on the baseball and softball championship tournaments, the Silver Colts won their fifth straight state championship by beating top-seeded Bloomfield 8-3 in the Class 4A title game at Rio Rancho High School on Saturday.

After losing to the Colts 10-1 on Friday, Bloomfield (25-7) beat No. 5 Cobre in the losers’ bracket Saturday morning to get another shot at No. 2 Silver (24-7). To capture their first state championship since 2010, the Bobcats then had the daunting task of winning twice against a Silver team that outscored opponents 57-10 in the tournament.

The Colts scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning, but Bloomfield third baseman Chelsey Runyon smacked a two-run home run in the next frame.

The Bobcats were within 5-3 in the middle of the third, but the Colts kept them scoreless the rest of the way and added two runs in the bottom of the sixth to make a late Bloomfield comeback that much more difficult.

Silver rampaged through the tournament despite not getting the top seed, a slight that forced the Colts to work harder. In addition to proving the seeding was wrong, Silver head coach Duane Trewern hopes this run will make the NMAA revamp its selection process.

“For us not to get the one seed again was a little disheartening, considering the team that we played in the championship was the one seed,” Trewern said. “Bloomfield’s a great team, but I think we proved that they missed it by one. I think the committees are going to have to rethink how they do seeding.

“It seems like they made a rushed decision this year. It put a chip on our kids’ shoulders because they had something to prove.”

The fact that the Colts steamrolled through everyone, including Bloomfield, eased tension for Saturday’s championship. But Silver still knew there was a good team in the other dugout.

The Bobcats won 21 straight games before losing to Silver on Friday, and there is still a lot to be proud of this season.

“It was a great season,” Bloomfield head coach Andi Clark said. “We ended up getting second, so I’m OK with that. The girls came out and played as best they could and left it all out on the field.”

But the Colts put more on the field. The work ethic of a blue-collar mining town is one of the reasons some seniors who’ve been with the team since eighth grade have enough state championship rings for all the fingers of one hand.

“I’m too dumb to outsmart anybody, so they know we have to outwork everybody, and that’s our secret,” Trewern said.

Now those six seniors are gone, but Trewern still believes a shot at a sixth straight championship is in the works. He feels that as long as he holds his players to a higher standard on the field and in the classroom, the blue trophies will keep coming.

“I really believe that the pieces are in place for us to make another run,” he said. “We’re going to be supercompetitive again.”