For the third year in a row, a state champion Little League softball team hails from Los Lunas.
Enchantment Little League’s senior division all-star team beat Albuquerque’s Roadrunner Little League, 8-2, on Sunday in White Rock, near Los Alamos, to claim another state title.
Eight of the girls on Enchantment’s squad played on all three state championship teams, winning the major division title in 2000 and the junior division crown last year under manager Glenn Trujillo.
Lisa Chavez took over the helm this season, and the girls haven’t missed a beat. They won all six of their post-season games with the new coach.
“Glenn started this team a number of years ago and provided a strong foundation,” Chavez said. “The parents have supported these girls for the past five years. It’s a special group of kids who have a dream of making it to the next level. And they’re all trying to make that dream work out.”
The next level of competition for Enchantment is the Southwest Regional playoff in Grand Junction, Colo., where it will meet the Louisiana state champion on Monday, Aug. 5.
Enchantment will represent New Mexico from now on. It earned that right by making a clean sweep of the competition in White Rock.
On Saturday, Ashley Trujillo and Cheryl Torres combined to throw a no-hitter, shutting out Silver City, 12-0. Trujillo pitched five innings, walked three batters and struck out nine. Torres pitched the sixth inning, after which the game was called due to the 10-run “mercy rule.”
Torres led the team at the plate, going 2 for 4 with a double and a triple. Enchantment had seven hits but benefited from six Silver errors.
Enchantment played well enough to win but made five errors of its own.
Later that day, Enchantment secured a place in the championship by edging Roadrunner, 4-2.
Again, Enchantment got strong pitching from Trujillo and Torres. This time, Trujillo gave up two hits and one run while striking out six in her five innings of work. Torres earned the save by giving up one hit and one run in two innings pitched.
Enchantment scored its first run in the third inning. Jazmine Gonzales singled and later scored on a base hit by Victoria Baca.
In the fourth, Enchantment took advantage of some defensive miscues to score three more runs. Monique Chavez reached on an error and scored on a triple by Trujillo. Torres singled to score another run. One out later, Danielle Baca reached on an infield error that allowed Torres to come around and make the score, 4-0.
Roadrunner managed single runs in the fourth and sixth innings, but couldn’t catch Enchantment.
Since it was a double-elimination tournament, Roadrunner got a second chance at Enchantment on Sunday, after Silver forfeited its losers’ bracket game to the Albuquerque team.
Torres recorded another no-hitter, though it wasn’t altogether pretty. She gave up eight walks and Enchantment’s defense was unsteady.
Torres walked three batters in the first inning, and Enchantment committed a pair of errors, as Roadrunner took a 2-0 lead.
An error cost Roadrunner four runs in the third inning. Enchantment’s Ashley Figg started a two-out rally in the third inning when she reached on an error. Maria Sedillo, Monique Chavez and Trujillo each singled and Torres cleared the bases with a double to put Enchantment ahead for good, 4-2.
Enchantment built its lead in the fifth, again with help from its opponents. Torres and Martina Chavez collected base hits. Brittany Tucker and Victoria Baca reached on errors and worked their way around the bases to end the scoring.
Sedillo and Torres each had two hits to lead Enchantment’s offense.
Enchantment’s 1-2 pitching punch of Trujillo and Torres carried the team in the tournament. But coach Chavez said the team needs to improve in other areas if it expects to have continued success at regionals. “Anytime you come out with a win and move on to regionals, you’re happy with that. But I expect a more solid performance from them,” she said. “We need to be more disciplined at the plate, and we’ve got to cut down on our errors.”
Between now and Aug. 5, the coach said, the team will be active. “The next two weeks, we’re going to practice a lot and work on fund-raising,” she said. “It costs a lot of money to bring a team up there, and for their families to come up there, because the tournament lasts five days.”
Chavez said fund-raising plans are in the works. Anyone interested in contributing directly should contact coach Chavez at 865-4743.