Los Lunas holds on against Lady Sartans by one run

........................................................................................................................................................................................

It looked as if Los Lunas had broken open a tight softball game in the top of the seventh inning against St. Pius on Tuesday.

The Lady Tigers scored three runs to take a 9-5 lead over the talented Sartans.

But St. Pius made it interesting by posting three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning before Lueras could get a final ground out to save the 9-8 victory in relief of starting pitcher Angela Duran.

Duran is now 6-2 for the season after taking over for D'Ana Gabaldon, who is out for the season with a broken leg.

Los Lunas improved to 7-3 with the win. Lueras got her first save of the year.

Los Lunas is off this weekend before returning home for a 6 p.m. game against Valley on Tuesday.

Jacklynn Sanchez got the seventh-inning Los Lunas rally underway with a single. Jacque Jiron singled and both Tigers scored on Nikki Hathoot's double.

Hathoot played her first softball game with Los Lunas after the senior finished with the basketball team's state championship win on Friday night.

Hathoot moved to third on a fielding error that left Samantha Lucero safe at first. Mykayla Moody scored Hathoot on a deep sacrifice fly to centerfield. Los Lunas led by four runs, 9-5.

St. Pius made things difficult in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs without the benefit of an extra-base hit. Three singles, two hit batsmen and two errors led to some anxious moments in the Tiger dugout.

Duran left the game with the 9-7 lead still intact, and Lueras came on for the save. She got the final two outs, but not before hitting a batter and allowing a run to score to make it 9-8.

After scoring a run in the second inning off a Hathoot ground ball, Sanchez came through with a clutch single in the third to drive home Cienna Thompson and Lueras. Los Lunas led 3-1.

The Tigers added another run in the top of the fourth to take a 4-1 edge. Jerrica Chavez singled to drive in Hathoot, who reached on a single to start the inning.

St. Pius took the lead briefly in the bottom of the fifth as Garcia hit a two-run homer. Los Lunas regained the lead in the top of the sixth.

Moody singled with one out and advanced to second on a throwing error. Chavez singled, moving Moody to third. She scored moments later on a passed ball.

Thompson walked and rounded first, trying to steal second. She was thrown out on the play, but not before Thompson scored from third. Los Lunas led, 6-5, going into the final inning.

Duran pitched well in getting the win. She struck out four through almost seven innings of work.


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