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LOS LUNAS — The Los Lunas Lady Tigers kept their season alive with a 15-0 shutout win over Kirtland Central in today’s 4A state softball playoff opener.

“They’ve been working hard and doing well because they’re working together,” Los Lunas coach Paul Cieremans said. “They’re working as a family.”

Los Lunas (20-7) came out swinging with four runs in the first inning. Kylie Perez got things rolling with a three-run home run before Kirtland Central (12-15) made a pitching adjustment. 

With Nalaney Paul on the mound for Kirtland, the next three Los Lunas batters didn’t get on base. But that didn’t slow down Los Lunas for long, as Alex Tenorio hit a two-run homer in the second inning. Los Lunas kept on rolling and eventually forced a mercy rule in the fourth inning.

"You have to give credit to Los Lunas. They can hit the ball, and they came in with that reputation,” KC coach John Zecca said. “We have a lot to build on, and I think we can learn from this experience.”

Los Lunas will face Portales in the 4A state quarterfinals 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho.

“Here on out, the games are going to be a lot closer than this,” Cieremans said.

Dustan Copeland covers sports for the Valencia County News-Bulletin. He can be reached at 505-966-8159.

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