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Organ Mt baseball going back to Albuquerque; Centennial softball also advances

Centennial, Las Cruces and Mayfield all eliminated in baseball; Mayfield falls to Piedra Vista in softball

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The Organ Mountain High School baseball team is going back Albuquerque for the second straight year, while a young Centennial High softball team is making its first trip with this group. 

The Knights won their best-of-three opening-round series against No. 13 Los Lunas in the 5A baseball playoffs, taking the series 2-1 at the Field of Dreams. 

Organ Mountain won the opener 7-3 Friday, May 6, lost the second game 13-10 Saturday, May 7, and then bounced back to take the decisive game 11-1 later that day. 

The Knights, 25-4, advance to the quarterfinal round and face No. 5 Hobbs at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 12, at Santa Ana Star Field at the University of New Mexico. 

Meanwhile, Centennial, seeded No. 2 in the 5A softball playoffs, found itself in a tussle Friday night, May 6, in its opening-round game against No. 15 Cibola at the Field of Dreams.  

The Hawks, 21-6, overall, broke open a 3-3 tie the fifth inning and held on for a 5-3 win. 

“I told the girls cause they are young, that seeding don’t mean anything,” said Centennial coach Fernie Valles. “The 15th seed don’t mean nothing; they (Cibola) are a really good team.” 

The Hawks rallied behind the pitching of sophomore ace Caprice Barela, who struggled at times but did enough to secure the win. Barela scattered five hits and struck out eight. 

Barela settled down after giving up a game-tying three-run homer in the top half of the fifth. 

“Today, she struggled; she is a better pitcher than she showed today,” Valles said. 

The Centennial comeback was fueled by sophomore third baseman Kayla Hernandez and junior shortstop Gianna Villegas, who both had RBI singles in the bottom half of the fifth to give Centennial the lead. 

Earlier, freshman Amanda Valles, no relation to the coach, hit a two-run homer.  

Centennial will next play No. 7 Hobbs at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 12, at Cleveland High in Rio Rancho. The opening round was single elimination; the softball tournament will become double elimination the rest of the way. 

In other postseason action: 

The Mayfield High School softball team saw its season come to an end with a 6-0 loss to Piedra Vista in the opening round of the state 5A playoffs Saturday, May 7, at the Field of Dreams.  

Mayfield was seeded No. 8 and Piedra Vista of Farmington was seeded No. 9. Piedra Vista ran off a string of nine straight state championships from 2006 to 2014 in 4A before moving to 5A. The Trojans finished 18-9 on the season. 

In 5A baseball, No. 12 Las Cruces was eliminated by No. 5 Hobbs in the best two-of-three opening-round series. Las Cruces High lost 5-2 May 6 and 13-3 May 7 in Hobbs. The Bulldawgs finished 20-8. 

No. 2 Sandia won its series against No. 15 Mayfield 2-1. Mayfield lost 5-4 in the opener, then won Game 2 6-3 and then lost 18-1 in the decisive game. Mayfield finished its season at 13-16 overall. 

No. 6 Cleveland beat No. 11 Centennial 2-1 in the best-of-three series. Centennial won 9-0 in the opener, then lost 11-10 and 11-1 in the deciding game. The Hawks finished 17-12 overall.