It’s been seven years, but the Lady Tigers have returned to the top of the district as Los Lunas shut out Valencia 4-0 for the District 5-4A crown.
“We’ve had some good competition in between (district championships),” said Los Lunas head coach Paul Cieremans. “These girls are hungry. It was fun to see.”
Los Lunas (19-7, 8-0) came out strong against the visiting Valencia (14-12, 6-2), scoring two runs in the first inning. Leadoff hitter senior Marissa Weldon got things rolling with a double in her first at-bat. Sophomore Alex Tenorio hit a single to send Weldon home for the first run of the game. Sophomore Edyn Lopez hit a triple to send Tenorio home for the team’s second score.
Tenorio stood out on the mound as well. Led by her 14 strikeouts on the night, the Lady Tigers held the Lady Jags to only four hits.
“(Tenorio) did a great job,” said Cieremans. “She’s moving the ball well. She hit her spots.”
The Lady Jaguars are hoping to put the loss in the past. On Sunday, Valencia earned a spot in the state tournament as the No. 8 seed. They’ll host Valley at 6:30 p.m., Friday.
“At the state tournament, there aren’t any records anymore,” said Valencia head coach Jeff Young. “We’ll have to find a way to hit. We can’t give up on ourselves. We’ve got to make teams play defense.”
Los Lunas, who earned the No. 2 seed in the tournament, will host Kirtland Central at 7 p.m., Friday. Cieremans hopes the Lady Tigers will be able to maintain their high-powered hitting and defense.
“I’m proud of the girls,” said Cieremans. “These girls are awesome — all fourteen of them. It was a team effort.”
Meanwhile, Belen (13-13, 4-4) won their final game of the regular season, shutting Grants out 14-0 at home. The Lady Eagles earned a No. 11 seed in the state tournament, and they will travel to Bernalillo at 6 p.m., Friday.