TUCSON, Ariz. – All No. 24/22 Arizona needed was a three-run bomb in the first inning to get past the University of New Mexico on Friday afternoon, the first day of the Hillenbrand Invitational at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium.
The Wildcats gained control in the first inning after back-to-back singles and a three-run bomb by Chelsea Goodacre to take a 3-0 lead. Arizona scored a run in the second and third innings with Kellie Fox leading off the third inning with a solo shot to left field.
The Wildcats added two more in the fourth with the third home run hit on the game, coming from Lauren Young, a two-run bomb, straight over the center field wall. As the Lobos still had no answer and were fighting against the mercy rule, the Wildcats put one last run across the plate to take home an 8-0 victory in five innings.
UNM had only three hits on the day, with sophomore Naomi Tellez leading the way, going two-for-two at the plate. Freshman Shelbie Franc was the only other Lobo to get a hit, slapping the ball to the short stop in the third inning and used quick feet to get to first base. The Lobos saw five players reach a base and left four on base in five innings.
“Overall, I saw growth from our team today,” said head coach Erica Beach. “We made a few mistakes on defense and on the mound and Arizona capitalized on them. We battled with a very good Arizona team and we can take a lot of positive from this game.”
Sophomore pitcher Carrie Sheehan suffered the loss in the circle, giving up eight runs, seven earned, for her second loss on the season. In 4.2 innings, she threw 102 pitches with 66 coming in as strikes. She did not walk a batter but did not strike any out.
Nancy Bowling and Kenzie Fowler were both in the circle for the Wildcats. In three innings, Bowling struck out three and gave up two hits to earn her second win on the season. Fowler pitched two innings, walked one and gave up one hit.
Dropping to 1-5 on the season, the Lobos will play their second and third games of the Hillenbrand Invitational tomorrow at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. MST. Live stats will be available for both games at arizonalivestats.com.