Feb. 29, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- New Mexico sophomore Sara Loeffelholz hit a walk-off double to center field Friday night to help the Lobos defeat Oklahoma State 5-4. Loeffelholz highlighted UNM's performance after going 3-for-4, while senior Lindsey Elcess was 2-for-3 at the plate. The Lobos improved to 7-5 on the year and 3-0 against the Big 12 this season. The victory at Lobo Field Friday night was the third consecutive for UNM. OSU fell to 10-7 this season with the loss.
The Lobos jumped out to a 2-0 lead after Elcess belted a two-run homer to center field. Her fourth home run of the season was a lined shot that cleared the berm behind the outfield fence. Elcess now has 22 career home runs and ranks fourth on the all-time list.
OSU plated two runs in the top of the third inning on four hits. The Cowgirls led off the inning with a single, then received a two-out walk and followed that up with three consecutive hits. Emily Blackburn and Katelyn Bright scored for OSU and tied the game at 2-2.
UNM wasted little time regaining the lead at 4-2. The Lobos opened the home half of the third with a double by Loeffelholz. Freshman Tianna George followed Loeffelholz with a single to right field setting the stage for Elcess. Elcess came through again with a single down the right field line to plate George and Leoffelholz. Elcess finished the game with four RBI and a run scored.
The Cowgirls tied the game at 4-4 in the fifth. Mariah Gearhart led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch and would later come around to score her only run of the day. Alysia Hamilton was credited with an RBI double to left field to score Gearhart in the inning. Hamilton was the game tying run after scoring on a Megan Castle single.
New Mexico nearly scored in the fifth inning after getting freshman Madelyn Machac to third with no outs. The Lobos followed Machac with a pop out, a strikeout and a ground out to first and left the runner stranded at third.
The Lobos waited until the bottom of the seventh to come through with the game winner. Sophomore catcher Erin Brandow walked to leadoff the inning and put the winning run on with no outs. Freshman Ashley Hudson pinch ran for Brandow and quickly stole second base. Senior Ashley Allen hit into a sacrifice to move Hudson to third with one out. Machac popped out foul to the catcher bring to the plate Loeffelholz. Loeffelholz blasted a double of the center field walk to score Hudson from third and give UNM a 5-4 victory. It was the first walk-off win for UNM this season.
Senior Kelly Ninemire was the winning pitcher for New Mexico and improved to 4-2 on the season. Ninemire pitched two innings in relief of starter Kyla Nelson. The Prosper, Texas native did not give up a run on four hits after facing nine batters. Nelson was relieved after pitching five innings allowing four runs on seven hits.
Anna Whiddon took the loss and moves to 0-1. Whiddon pitched 4.1 innings allowing a run on two hits. Sarah Odom started the game for OSU and went 2.1 innings giving up four runs on six hits.
The OSU and New Mexico series continues Saturday at 1 p.m. at Lobo Field. Gametracker and live video will be available for the game.