Enchantment Minors beat Westgate 14-3, claim District 9 softball championship

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Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: COACHES AND PLAYERS from the Enchanted Little League Minor All-State show their championship banner to fans after their 14-3 win over Westgate in the District 9 softball championship game Wednesday night.

The Enchantment Minor All-Stars claimed the District 9 Little League softball championship, defeating the Westgate all-stars 14-3 in a mercy rule-shortened game Wednesday night at Westgate Little League in Albuquerque.

It was the second win over Westgate in two days for Enchantment, which earned a spot in the Minor division Little League Softball Tournament, which starts Saturday, July 13, at Thunderbird Little League in Albuquerque.

Westgate initially knocked Enchantment from the winner’s bracket of the week-long tournament with a dominating  9-3 victory on Sunday, June 30. But Enchantment won a tight game 5-2 in Tuesday’s championship game  to force a second “If game” to end the double-elimination tournament and earn the title.

“It feels really good (to be a champion),” said Wednesday’s winning pitcher, Alex Tenorio. “We had better days the last two days and we just really wanted to win.”

ENCHANTMENT 14, WESTGATE 3: Enchantment began Wednesday night’s “If game” the same way it began Tuesday’s Championship game – by spotting Westgate a 2-0 first inning lead.

But instead of getting spooked by the mistakes that gave Westgate its two unearned runs, Enchantment came out and scored eight runs in the top of the second inning, taking advantage of six walks issued by Westgate starter Monique Montes.

“It’s rough to see a young girl get shook up like that but we had some shake ups ourselves so it happens,” manager Gabe Sanchez said. “Our bats caught on fire and our pitching stayed good. Alex pitched a great game.”

Montes walked in three runs before Tenorio singled to bring in Jayleen Vargas and Emma Davids to make the score 5-2.

Enchantment’s next scoring burst was started in the top of the third inning when Kaytelyn Vialpando advanced to second and the Westgate throw went into the outfield, allowing Vialpando to score from second base. After Davids reached base on a walk, Tenorio slapped a double to center field to score Davids. Tenorio then scored from third on a pass ball to put Enchantment up 11-2.

Westgate got its only earned run in the bottom of the third when Arianna Griego scored from third on a blooper single by Montes. Westgate looked to be threatening with two outs but Montes was picked off at second by shortstop Kendall Ostler to kill the rally.

In the top of the fourth inning, Enchantment got two base runners quickly as Ostler got hit by a pitch and Thalia Aragon drew a walk. Both would go on to score on passed balls and Vargas, who reached base on a walk as well, scored on a passed ball from third to end the scoring.

Tenorio, who started on the mound for Enchantment, then struck out two and got one batter to ground out to end the game by the mercy rule in the fourth inning. Tenorio finished with a two-hitter, throwing seven strikeouts.

“We knew we had to pick it up (today) to win,” said Ostler. “We got down but we knew we could rally back.”

ENCHANTMENT 5, WESTGATE 2: A storm was brewing Tuesday night – and it wasn’t just in the skies above Albuquerque. Held scoreless for three innings, Enchantment came on quickly like the wind gusts that began to rake the Westgate fields in the top of the fourth inning.

Taking advantage of walks issued by Westgate ace pitcher Alyssa McCursten, Enchantment broke through with a run from Ostler when Elasha Fiquet slapped a single to right field. Fiquet then scored on a passed ball from third on the next at-bat to tie the game 2-2.

In the deciding fifth inning, Aleksandra Sanchez reached base on an error then scored the winning run off a single by Tenorio. Tenoiro scored two at-bats later and Ostler finished the scoring on the same play, stealing home right behind her.

After a ground out, Westgate got two base runners on in the top of the sixth inning. But one runner got picked off at third and Ostler, who pitched the entire game for Enchantment, got the final batter to strike out to end the game. Ostler finished with six strikeouts of the game, including three in a row in the top of the fourth with two batters to end a Westgate scoring threat.

“It felt good to win,” said Ostler. “When you’re the starting pitcher, you know everyone has your back.”

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