May 12, 2005
SAN DIEGO - Fourth-seeded Utah slipped past No. 5 seed New Mexico, 1-0, in the opening game of the 2005 Mountain West Conference Softball Championship that lasted just an hour and nine minutes at the San Diego State Softball Stadium in San Diego, Calif.
Junior Katie Gregg threw a terrific game for New Mexico, allowing just three hits, no earned runs and striking out one in her complete-game effort.
The Utes scored the lone run of the game in the fourth, as Ivette Hernandez hit a one-out single and was pinch run for by Sarah Lyman. Lyman scored when Bryanne Durrence hit an infield single and the Lobos threw a relay over the head of the first baseman and into the New Mexico dugout.
Utah's Lindsie Nielsen also tossed a stellar game, giving up just three hits and one walk. New Mexico did not have its first base runner until the fifth inning when freshman Christina Rios reached first base on an error by shortstop Sharee Fonoti.
The Lobos' best chance at scoring came in the sixth, where they stranded three runners. Sophomore Amy Ray led off the inning with a single to left, classmate Ryanne Hodgins also singled to get on base with one out and junior Kristina Schmallen drew a two-out walk to load the bases.
Rios tried to rally the Lobos in the seventh, looping a one-out single into left field but that is all New Mexico could muster in the inning.
Nielsen improved to 10-13 for Utah while Gregg fell to 8-6 on the season. The Utes got singles from Hernandez, Durrence and Lynsey Wall, while New Mexico picked up hits from Hodgins, Rios and Ray. UNM stranded four base runners compared to Utah's two.
The Utes (21-27) advance to play top-seeded Brigham Young (41-12) in game three of the day, set to begin at 4:30 p.m. The Lobos (15-33) fall into the losers bracket and will play the loser of game four between No. 6 seed SDSU and third-seeded Colorado State tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. PDT.