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Girls softball brings the heat

Briana Montoya | Journalism

La Cueva and Sandia varsity softball dueled for the district championship title Wednesday at La Cueva. La Cueva took the win with an overpowering 10-4.

“I think Sandia was a good team to play,” said parent Mike Pacheco.

La Cueva Varsity softball team at 2016 District Championship. Photo by Sydney Truett.

La Cueva Varsity softball team at 2016 District Championship. Photo by Sydney Truett.

Neither team went into the district championships having an advantage over the other. Earlier in the season La Cueva and Sandia faced each other in a doubleheader with Sandia winning the first game (0-1) and La Cueva winning the second game (17-1). La Cueva has dominated high school varsity softball this year in New Mexico.

Both La Cueva (19-2-0) and Sandia (19-4-0) have had good seasons, but La Cueva was too much to handle. Starting pitcher for La Cueva, Kendra Keahbone was injured early in the second inning when a line drive was hit to her and hurt her hand. She was still able to get the out at first, but she was taken out of the rest of the game.

Early in the first inning Shannon Stine, La Cueva’s pitcher and first base, was tagging back to second when the umpire called her safe. This sparked an uproar in the crowd questioning the ump’s decision. In the second inning, catcher Jessica McAllister caught a pop up ball behind home plate. This was a crucial play getting the first out and holding Sandia with no runs.

Shannon Stein was hit in the back by pitcher Victoria Rayes from Sandia, getting her a walk on base. Right after Stine’s at bat, 3rd baseman Kathrine Sanchez was able to hit a powerful grounder to center, and then Jessica McAllister had her time to shine. McAllister hit a home run bringing La Cueva 5-0.

In the fourth inning, shortstop Taylor Jones ran into left field to catch a fly ball, snatching it just before left fielder Rachel Hathoot could get there.

Both teams played very competitively offensively and defensively. Even though Sandia put up a good fight, it was not enough to hold La Cueva from scoring run after run.The rest of the game continued as one out after another with both teams playing great defense. But Sandia cannot find the holes in Cueva’s defense this time to get them the win.

Sandia’s number five Victoria Rayes brings in two more runs for Sandia after hitting a home run bringing the score to 8-4 in the fifth inning.

Coach Ron Romero believes that La Cueva’s team will be strong next year with only one senior leaving the team. That Senior is Lauren Slater. Slater had an extraordinary game by getting several diggers and stopping a line drive at second base. La Cueva has a great chance to win the state tournament seated second in the state right behind Hobbs, New Mexico.

“I believe these kids have what it takes,” said parent Chris Montoya.

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