May 11, 2006
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The University of New Mexico softball team opened the MWC Championship with a tough 9-1 loss in five innings to Utah at Eller Media Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev. The Lobos fall to 23-30 on the year, while the Utes move to 35-19. The losing pitcher for UNM was freshman Jen Mendenhall who drops to 8-13 on the season, while the winning pitcher for Utah was Karina Cannon who goes to 18-7.
Utah jumped to an early lead scoring two runs in the bottom of the first highlighted by an RBI fielder's choice by Derina Quintero. The Lobos helped the Utes with the other run as they committed two errors in the inning to allow an unearned run.
The Lobos wouldn't go away though as they cut the lead to 2-1 in the top of the fourth. Junior Ryanne Hodgins led off with a single to leftfield. After a strikeout by Amy Ray, senior Cassie Chavez singled to left to move Hodgins to second. Both Hodgins and Chavez moved up a base on a passed ball. Senior Kristina Schmallen then drove in New Mexico's lone run on a ground out to second. Schmallen's RBI moves her to second all alone on the UNM single season list with 52.
The Utes would answer in the bottom of the fourth with five runs to make it 7-1. A two run triple by Jessica Shiery and a two run double by Staci Hemingway did the damage in the inning.
Utah would close the game with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth for the eight run rule to end the game. The Utes led off the inning with three consecutive singles, with the first two eventually coming around to score the final runs.
New Mexico will now sit and wait until tomorrow to play in an elimination game at 12:30 p.m. (MDT). The Lobos opponent will not be determined until later this evening.