Eagle softball team unbeaten

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After a 7-16 season last year, the Belen softball team has started the new year well with a 3-0 record.

The Eagles followed an impressive Tuesday win at Los Alamos, 11-9, with a win over Class 5A Highland in their home opener, 10-0.

Mike Stearns-News-Bulletin photo: Belen’s Snoie Vallejos tries to beat the throw to third during Thursday’s home win over Highland, 10-0. The Eagle first baseman was out on the close play, but scored the game-ending run in the fifth inning. Belen is set to put their 3-0 record on the line at West Mesa at 10 a.m. Saturday.

“The girls have just bought into what we are trying to do,” said first-year Belen coach Ray Valerio. “The attitudes are good and I could not be any happier with where we are at.”

In Tuesday’s win against the Hilltoppers, Belen scored six runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 9-5 lead only to see Los Alamos tie the game with four runs in the bottom of the inning.

Virginia Gonzales got on board with a walk to start the Eagle seventh. She scored on Agusta Amaro’s single to center field. Amaro then scored on Emma Gonzales’ groudout to shortstop to give Belen the two-run advantage.

Gonzales then retired the side in the home seventh to get her second win of the year.

The first four Belen batters in the Highland game scored to give the Eagles a 4-0 lead in the first inning over the Hornets.

Three bunts and an Emma Gonzales single did the damage in the first frame.

Gonzales excelled on the mound, recording eight strike outs while only allowing three hits. She advanced her pitching record to 3-0 on the season.

Belen added a run in the third, and four more in the fourth to extend the lead to 9-0. Maraih Armijo got the big hit, a two-run scoring triple to right field.

The game ended in the fifth on Virginia Gonzales’ hit to right that scored Snoie Vallejos.

“They have won some games and we are starting to play with more confidence,” said Valerio. “We are doing a lot of the fundamental things right. They are starting to listen and they are working hard. We still have a lot of work to do, though.”


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