Moral wins don’t count for anything in the district standings, but chalk one up — make that two — for the Los Lunas High School softball team.
Though it lost both games of a District 3-5A doubleheader at Alamogordo last Friday, managing just one hit the entire day, Los Lunas (5-14, 1-8 in district play) played tough against the state’s top-ranked team. Pitchers Ashley Herrera and Kati Jo Gabaldon held Alamogordo (18-1, 9-0) to a total of six hits on the day. But Alamo, ranked 49th in the nation by one softball publication, extended its win streak to 18 games, with 4-0 and 8-1 wins.
“We knew before we even played them that Alamogordo was a good team — No. 1 in state,” said senior Stephanie McIntosh, who had Los Lunas’ only hit. “When we played them the first time, we found they were like any other team and that we could stay with them.”
The first time the teams met this season, Alamo prevailed 9-0. And even though they lost three games to Alamo, the Los Lunas girls played all seven innings each time. Last season, Alamo won all three meetings by the 10-run “mercy rule.”
Aided by five Los Lunas errors, Alamo only managed single runs in the first, second, third and fourth innings in Friday’s first game. Herrera went the distance, giving up just four hits.
But Alamo’s Michelle Sayen gave up none to earn the no-hitter.
Los Lunas’ Gabaldon gave up just two hits in the nightcap but got herself into trouble with walks. Alamo built a 4-0 lead through five innings, then put the game away with four runs in the sixth.
Los Lunas was on the verge of being no-hit for the second time, this time by Tiffany Garafano, headed into its final at bat. But with one out in the inning, McIntosh drilled a line drive to right field that rolled to the wall. She kept running until head coach Glenn Trujillo stopped her at third. McIntosh later scored when a Garafano pitch got away from catcher Ashley Rahn.
It was a big weekend for McIntosh. Aside from having Los Lunas’ only hit on Friday, she was named queen of Saturday’s prom.
And despite the losses, it was a big weekend for the LLHS softball team.
“The Alamogordo coach gave us a nice compliment — that he’s seen a lot of improvement in us from last year to this year,” Trujillo said. “There are signs of improvement, and we’re still going out to win every game. I think we have an opportunity to end the season with three wins.”
Los Lunas hosted Las Cruces Mayfield Tuesday (no score was available at News-Bulletin press time). The Lady Tigers close out the season with a home doubleheader against Anthony Gadsden beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday.