Lady Tigers roll past Belen; 6-4A showdown is Saturday at Gallup

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It was hard for the fledgling Belen softball program to show improvement against the top District 6-4A foe and county rival Los Lunas. On Friday, it was not only doubly-hard, it was triple.

The Tigers (19-2, 6-0 in district) got a triple dose of five-run innings in the third, fourth and fifth to take home a 15-0 run-rule win at the Eagle’s Nest. It was three triples that led to the scoring in the final inning to put the game away for Los Lunas behind D’Ana Gabaldon’s nine strikeouts.

Mike Stearns-News-Bulletin photo: Los Lunas junior D’Ana Gabaldon rounds third in Tuesday’s District 6-4A 15-0 win over rival Belen as the Lady Eagles’ Alexis Maese looks on. Gabaldon’s fifth-inning triple scored Samantha Lucero. Belen will travel to Miyamura and Los Lunas visits Gallup on Saturday.

Belen (5-14, 1-5) was set to host Gallup and Los Lunas was to travel to Grants on Tuesday for games set for after News-Bulletin press time.

Belen will visit Miyamura on Saturday and Los Lunas plays at Gallup in 11 a.m. contests.

Los Lunas coach Paul Cieremans was happy with the win, but said his team can’t loose focus through the remainder of the schedule.

“We are going to have to work,” said Cieremans. “Now we have the second round (of district play), and most of that is on the road. Our goal was to go undefeated in district and we have three tough games left.”

Belen coach Amber Bertrand has noticed some positive things, despite the lopsided score against Los Lunas.

“I want them to come back playing hard. The concentration is so much better,” said Bertrand.

Samantha Lucero got the triple-fest started in the fifth inning with a hit to right-center field, scoring Medeiros from first. Lucero scored on Gabaldon’s triple, who came home on Alli Madrid’s single. Madrid scored on Jacklynn Sanchez’ triple. Sanchez came home on Amanda Gonzales’ single.

Los Lunas got five runs in the third with the big hit coming from Mykayla Moody’s double that scored Nikki Hathoot and Sanchez.

The Tigers added five more in the fourth on Hathoot’s bases-clearing double that scored Gabaldon, Madrid and Gabaldon.

Gabaldon only faced 17 batters, striking out nine and only allowing two hits.

“I came out slow and our sticks were not on right way. We got on track and pulled it off,” said Gabaldon.

Eagle coach Bertrand was pleased with the early part of the game, holding the Tigers scoreless for the first two innings.

“We had them for two innings, and then, well …,” said Bertrand, her voice tailing off in disappointment.

The Eagles did turn in a couple of defensive gems, ending the third inning on a sharply-turned 5-4-3 double play. Snoie Gonzales had the catch of the day in centerfield in the fourth inning, making a leaping grab on a scorching line-drive off the bat of Lucero that surely would have gone for extra bases. It was the only time Lucero was put out during the game.


-- Email the author at mstearns@news-bulletin.com.