It is symmetry at its finest for the Los Alamos softball team.
The first time the team was at full strength in early March, the Lady Hilltoppers played Los Lunas. Two months later, the two programs collide again to begin the end of the season.
Los Alamos, the No. 6 seed in the Class AAAA State Championships, takes on the third-seeded Lady Tigers in the first game of the double-elimination portion of the softball bracket Thursday at Rio Rancho High School.
The teams get a one-day respite as Class A-AA opens play with the first round Wednesday. No. 10 McCurdy School, No. 12 Mora and No. 13 Pecos play in the opening round.
In AAA, No. 3 West Las Vegas plays No. 6 Raton for the fourth time this season. The District 2AAA rivals played three times, with the district champion Lady Dons winning each.
The AAAA quarterfinal pits a Lady Hilltoppers squad that went 19-5 after Los Lunas produced a home doubleheader sweep against a team that has the best record in AAAA at 25-2.
It's indicative of the changes both teams went through, but one element that was missing in the first meeting was Monika Teter.
The senior ace pitched the second game of the twin bill in her first action after the basketball season ended.
Los Lunas banged out seven hits and took a 5-0 lead into the seventh, but Los Alamos rallied for four runs and had runners at second and third base before the rally fizzled.
The game was a microcosm of the early portion of the season for the Lady Hilltoppers.
"That good thing was we were able to score some runs late on them," Anaya said. "One of the problems we had early in the season was that we started scoring runs kinda late in games. We changed that in the middle and the later part of the season, which has really helped."
The offense heated up when it restored the pop in its bats. Eight hitters recorded home runs -- a first under Anaya -- and the Christensen sisters led the way. Kristen Christensen had a team-high five homers, while Micaela is right behind her with four.
What Anaya hopes is that the Lady Hilltoppers' big bats get a chance to post some big numbers.
"We can hit deep balls and hopefully, we can get a few runners on base and hit a deep ball," Anaya said. "We know we can do it. It's just a matter of executing and doing what we've been doing."
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