March 9, 2007
LAWRENCE, Kan. --- New Mexico softball won two games Friday on the opening day of the Jayhawk Classic in Lawrence, Kan. The Lobos scored three runs in the final inning to defeat Drake, 5-4, in game one and dominated North Dakota State, 9-1, cruising to a five inning run-rule. UNM jumps to 4-7 this year and advances to day two of the tournament with two key victories.
Drake struck first in game one with a run in the top of the third inning but the Lobos quickly responded with two in the bottom of the inning on a two-RBI single by senior Amy Ray. UNM controlled a 2-1 lead until the top of the sixth inning.
The Bulldogs tried to pull away late with two runs in the sixth and a run in the seventh. Drake recorded six late hits and moved ahead 4-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh. The Lobos refused to go quietly mounting a comeback to earn the victory.
Sophomore Samantha Hughes led off the seventh with a walk and was followed by a single from sophomore Analise Rubalcava. Junior Lindsey Elcess, who went 2-for-4 in the game with a run and two RBI, drove a single to center scoring both Hughes and Rubalcava to tie the game at four. The Lobos continued to apply the pressure offensively and loaded the bases for freshman Sara Loeffelholz. Loeffelholz held strong at the plate and picked up the game-winning walk that scored Elcess.
Junior Kelly Ninemire started the game for UNM and went 5.1 innings. Ninemire allowed eight hits and three runs while striking out three. Freshman Tori Rogers came in relief to pitch the final 1.2 innings and recorded the victory. Rogers gave up a run on three hits to close out the game.
The Lobos had eight hits against the Bulldogs plating five runs and walking eight times. UNM was led offensively by Elcess, Ray and senior Becky Dover. Ray was 1-for-2 with two RBI, while Dover was a perfect 2-for-2.
UNM defeated NDSU, 9-1, in game two to sweep its first game in the tournament. The Lobos scored a run in the first on an RBI double by Elcess that scored Rubalcava, who reached on a single down the first base line. The Bison tied the game in the third with a run but an eight run fourth inning proved too much for NDSU. UNM collected four hits in the fourth inning, including a solo home run to center field by Elcess. The Bison went down in order in the fifth to close out the run-rule.
Rogers had one of her most efficient outings of the year going five innings allowing four hits and one run. Rogers improved to 3-1 in the circle this year after picking up both wins for UNM Friday.
Elcess was 2-for-3 in the game with a run and three RBI. Ray was productive at the plate going 1-for-3 with a run and three RBI as well. Allen caught both games behind the dish and scored a run and had two RBI in a 1-for-2 performance at the plate. Sophomore Rachel Balkovec pinch-hit in the fifth inning and singled up the middle to collect her first hit as a Lobo.
UNM returns to action Saturday against Kansas at 11: 45 a.m. and will advance to bracket play in the afternoon. A complete recap and stats will be posted on www.GoLobos.com at the end of the day.