AP NEWS

Robertson tops both brackets

May 6, 2019

Technically speaking, the road to the high school baseball and softball titles goes through the University of New Mexico’s South Campus.

Metaphorically speaking, it goes through the Meadow City. Specifically, through Las Vegas Robertson.

Pairings for the respective state tournaments for baseball and softball were released Sunday night and, to no one’s surprise, Robertson swept the top seeds in both Class 3A brackets.

The softball team finished the regular season 17-8 and riding a nine-game winning streak. The Lady Cardinals will open the revamped postseason draw against No. 16 seed East Mountain while the rest of the field includes No. 4 West Las Vegas, No. 6 Santa Fe Indian School and No. 10 St. Michael’s.

The Lady Horsemen (9-15) will hit the road to play No. 7 Dexter. They head into the postseason having won three of their last five games, continuing a remarkable turnaround from last year’s 3-21 season.

Robertson’s baseball team (18-7-1) was the top-ranked team in 3A for most of year and the Cardinals proved their worth by winning a rugged District 2-3A that saw three of its teams claim spots among the top four playoff seeds.

West Las Vegas (17-6) is the No. 3 team and will open at home against No. 14 Thoreau. St. Michael’s (16-9-1) is seeded No. 4 and will open against No. 13 Zuni.

Santa Fe Indian School (15-11) fell all the way to No. 8 but still gets a home series against No. 9 Navajo Prep.

As usual, baseball’s postseason has a best-of-three format for the larger classifications in the opening round while softball is changing things up this year, ditching the messy pool play format in favor of a traditional stepladder process similar to baseball, albeit with a single-elimination format.

The 4A softball bracket has three teams from District 2-4A, although all three were shown no respect by the selection committee. Led by district champ Pojoaque Valley, the trio that includes Los Alamos and Española Valley were all seeded 13th or lower. Española is No. 16 and faces No. 1 Artesia in the opening round.

Neither Capital nor Santa Fe High made the field in 5A softball. The same can be said of the large-school baseball tournament as both schools finished at the bottom of District 5-5A and did not receive invitations to the postseason.

The Class 4A baseball bracket is decidedly light on area teams, too, as Los Alamos was the only team selected from District 2-4A. The runaway champs, the Hilltoppers (19-7) grabbed the No. 7 seed and will be at home to face No. 10 Los Lunas in the opening round series. Taos had a 14-12 record in the regular season but did not receive a bid after going just 5-9 in nondistrict games.

The Class 2A baseball bracket follows a single-elimination format for the first round. Defending state champ Mora was handed the No. 5 seed after a 12-4 regular season. The Rangers clinched their fourth straight district title last week and will open the playoffs against No. 12 Magdalena at home.

Texico is the top seed in 2A, a field that includes a pair of teams from Santa Fe with No. 13 Desert Academy (at No. 4 Rehoboth) and No. 14 (at 3-seed Estancia). For the Wildcats, they made the postseason in their inaugural varsity season. McCurdy is also in the field at No. 6. The Bobcats get a visit from No. 11 Loving, and Peñasco snuck in as the 15-seed to face No. 2 Eunice.

Championship games for all baseball games except the 5A title will be at UNM’s Santa Ana Star Field. The big-school game will be in Isotopes Park. All softball championship games are slated for UNM’s Lobo Field.