Spring Sports Enter Home Stretch

By George Morse
Los Alamos Daily Post
The spring sports season is entering the home stretch before postseason play.
What happens in the next couple of weeks will determine who advances to postseason play and who stays home after the regular season.
The Los Alamos High School softball team seems to be hitting its stride in District 2-5A competition. The Lady Hilltoppers swept a doubleheader from Albuquerque’s Del Norte High School 15-5, 15-0 to improve to improve to 7-1 in District 2-5A and 13-7 overall. The Lady Hilltoppers and the Espanola Valley High School  Lady Sundevils are headed on a collision course towards their showdown April 25 at Los Alamos. Both teams appear to be a cut above the other teams in District 2-5A.
Los Alamos and Espanola split a doubleheader April 8 at Espanola with the Lady Hilltoppers winning the first game 5-4 and the Lady Sundevils prevailing in the second game 15-2. Both teams have just one loss in District 2-5A and the winner of the game April 25 will likely be crowned district champion and receive the automatic bid to the Class 5A state championships. In all likelihood, the only team from District 2-5A to advance to state will be the district champion.
Only 12 teams will be selected to the Class 5A state softball championships. Espanola Valley is currently ranked 16th in the state polls and Los Alamos is ranked 17th.
The Lady Hilltoppers will have to avoid an upset bid by Albuquerque Academy Wednesday in Albuquerque and not get caught looking ahead to their showdown against Espanola.
The Los Alamos baseball team’s hopes of advancing to the Class 5A state baseball tournament took a serious blow when the Hilltoppers split a doubleheader against Del Norte April 15 in Los Alamos. The Hilltoppers easily won the second game of the doubleheader 13-3 under the 10-run mercy rule, but had lost the first game 4-3. That loss meant that Del Norte holds the tiebreaker over the Hilltoppers 2-1 for the season and would finish ahead of Los Alamos should the two teams tie for second place in District 2-5A. Del Norte is currently 5-2 in district play, while Los Alamos is 4-4.
Albuquerque Academy is in first place in District 2-5A with an 8-0 record and does not appear to have a serious challenger in District 2-5A.
Realistically, the Hilltoppers’ only hope of advancing to postseason play is to win its remaining game in District 2-5A, including a win over Academy Wednesday in Albuquerque. There will be 16 teams selected to participate in the Class 5A state baseball tournament and Los Alamos is currently ranked 19th in the state in Class 5A.
The Los Alamos boys and girls golf teams have no such pressure on them. Both have already recorded the required three qualifying rounds to advance to the Class 5A state golf team tournament.
Liz Lockhart (who also competes and has qualified for state in track and field), Leah Mountain and Jessica Osden have each fired the required three rounds to qualify for the state individual championship in Class 5A. For the boys, Jacob Benelli and Sean Rau have both qualified for state.Henry Poston and Logan Bishop have two qualifying rounds each and need just one more qualifying round.