Leading up to district play, all three county squads competed at the Kristin Griego Tournament in Rio Rancho, showcasing their skill against some of the best competition in the state.
Here’s how the Lady Eagles, Jags and Tigers fared over at the tourney.
Los Lunas (11-7) placed fourth after a strong tourney start. The Lady Tigers opened with a 16-6 win over Kirtland Central, a 13-3 victory over Lovington and a 17-0 shutout win against Cleveland.
“The girls played well,” said Los Lunas head coach Paul Cieremans. “I was happy with their performance.”
The Lady Tigers’ run ended after a 9-8 loss against Carlsbad in a match which went to eight innings. Their final tournament game was a 16-6 loss against Piedra Vista.
Senior Kylie Perez, sophomore Alex Tenorio and sophomore Edyn Lopez were named to the All-Tournament Team. Cieremans said senior Marissa Weldon and freshman Damie Amezcua also played well.
With district play beginning with a game against Belen on Thursday, Cieremans thinks the Lady Tigers are prepared for this important stretch of the season.
“We are playing well together and we have an understanding that we need to work hard to reach our goals,” said Cieremans. “Our pre-district schedule has been tough in order to prepare us for district.”
Belen (8-8) won the consolation side of the tournament bracket after falling 15-0 to Aztec in the first round. Not discouraged, the Lady Eagles went undefeated for the remainder of the tourney.
“The biggest thing I wanted from them was to compete, and they did!” said Belen head coach Joe Duran.
The Lady Eagles bounced back from their loss and won the next three games, each by only one run. They beat Clovis 11-10, Miyamura 9-8 and Tularosa 7-6. The Lady Eagles finally built strong early lead and blasted Los Alamos 18-8 in the consolation final.
Senior Serenity Salinas and freshman Analleli Chavez were named to the All-Tournament Team. Duran also said senior Aislinn Carillo and junior Makayla Martinez also had strong performances.
“It seemed like every game, a new player stepped up to help the team,” said Duran. “All in all, it was a great team effort.”
Valencia (7-9) struggled early in the tournament, but finished strong. The Lady Jaguars won their first game 5-0 against Tularosa. However, they fell 10-0 to Piedra Vista and 5-2 to Hobbs in the following match-ups. The Lady Jags bounced back in their fourth game with a 13-2 win over Goddard.
“We’re getting better every time out in the field,” said head coach Jeff Young. “This group continues to work hard and is still committed to the process. We are a better team because of this weekend.”
The Lady Jags finished the tournament with a 7-6 loss against Bernalillo.
Young said the Lady Jaguars had a great team effort over the weekend.
Though there were no All-Tournament players, Young said the team’s chemistry was noteworthy and are prepared for district play on Tuesday.
“I would say our team chemistry is what stuck out to me this weekend,” said Young. “The girls appear to really be enjoying playing with one another.”