March 18, 2005
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico softball team held on despite a seventh inning rally by Liberty to win its only game of day one in the Fairfield Inn Lobo Softball Classic. The Lobos beat the Flames, 4-2, improving to 6-15 overall. Liberty, who lost game one of the tournament to New Mexico State earlier in the day, 7-5, fell to 8-10 overall.
The Flames got on the board in the first inning as Shannon McKain doubled to right center with two outs, driving in Beth Hensley from second base.
The Lobos fired back in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 lead. Sophomore Ryanne Hodgins led off the inning with a single to left. Two outs later, junior Cassie Chavez doubled to left, bringing home Hodgins. Junior Kristina Schmallen, who is fully recovered from her injury that prohibited her from playing in the field, singled to left center, allowing Chavez to score.
One inning later, sophomore Becky Dover led off by reaching second base on an error by the left fielder. Again with two outs, the Lobos came up big as Hodgins singled to the shortstop and hussled down the line to beat out the throw while Dover scooted home.
New Mexico continued to put a run up on the board for the third straight inning. Chavez scored with two outs in the third off of a single to left center by senior Ashley Shartzer.
Trailing 4-1, Liberty's Jessica Moore sent the ball to the wall in right center for a RBI triple that scored Gertie Jeffries in the fifth. Two innings later, the rally caps were on and Liberty found itself with the bases loaded and one out. Hensley grounded the ball hard to freshman shortstop Christina Rios, who threw home to sophomore cather Liz Young, who tagged out pinch runner Rachel Love at the plate. Still with the bases loaded, Claire Fridey could not convert, hitting a grounder to Schmallen at second, who tossed the ball over to Shartzer for the final out at first.
Junior Katie Gregg improved to 4-1 on the season with her five-hit complete game, allowing just two walks and two strikeouts. Terra Lowe took the loss for the Flames, throwing six innings for eight hits, two earned runs, two walks and six strikeouts.
New Mexico out-hit Liberty 8-5 with Hodgins having a perfect 4-for-4 day at the plate. Hodgins also had a RBI and run scored. Chavez was 2-for-3 with one RBI and two runs scored. Five different Flames each had one hit.
Besides New Mexico State's 7-5 win over Liberty to open play in the tournament, Texas Tech earned an eight-inning 1-0 win over the Aggies in the only other game played today at Lobo Field.
The tournament picks up tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. with Texas Tech and Liberty squaring off, followed by a rematch of the Texas Tech-New Mexico State game at approximately 2 p.m. The Lobos will play the final game of the day against New Mexico State at approx. 2 p.m.