March 6, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico softball team entered its weekend series with 25th-ranked Baylor looking to show it belonged with the upper echelon of college softball. The disappointment of dropping their four contests against the Bears - albeit two by the slimmest of margins - is offset by the Lobos knowing they're close to being able to play at that level.
New Mexico closed the series Saturday afternoon at Lobo Field, falling 17-4 and 5-4. While the Lobos struggled with Baylor's ace pitcher, Whitney Canion (5-3), in each day's first game, they came within a single run of beating the Bears in the second game Saturday afternoon.
"That's the goal," said Lobo coach Ty Singleton "That's the reason we schedule what we've scheduled - 12 of our next 17 are against the top 25 - was so they get comfortable playing that caliber of competition. Now that they've seen it, they know what to expect."
After six innings Singleton wouldn't classify as his team's best in Saturday's first game, the Lobos showed some life, scoring four runs. The inning started with a single by pitcher Samantha Gatson to the short stop. Then Cristin Anderson singled down the left field line after a strikeout by Cassandra Kalapsa.
Freshman Stefanie Carramusa later doubled to center field to score Gatson and put Anderson on third. Shaunte Duarte batting in the clean-up spot singled on a hard hit to the pitcher that scored Anderson. Finally with Duarte on third after a single by Jessica Garcia, Erin Brandow scored the final run for the Lobos with a single to center field.
Bree Hanafin led Baylor in game one, hitting two homeruns in four at-bats, accounting for six RBIs. Jordan Vannatta and Courtney Nieten both hit a homerun for the Bears.
Baylor maintained its hot bats in Game 2, going up 3-0 in the first inning. New Mexico answered with runs in the first, second and third innings to tie the game.
"After coming out and not having such a good game the first game," said Anderson, "we came out and scored some runs the first couple innings, takes some guts. But we do need to finish it off and get a win out of it."
Anderson led off the first inning with a single to center field. Duarte, batting in the third spot, hit a double to center field to score Anderson. In the second inning Kerry Hodgins walked to get on base and later scored with a double by Jessica Lujan-Dresslar. The tying run came in the third inning when Jessica Garicia hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Carramusa, who singled to get on base.
The Bears went ahead again in the top of the fourth inning again with a homerun by shortstop Dani Leal. But New Mexico yet again answered back to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. Hodgins hit a triple down the left field line for the Lobos to get into scoring position, when Erin Brandow hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score the run.
Baylor (15-6) got the final run in the sixth inning with a triple by Leal to get on base. Nicole Wesley drove in the game-winning run with a single to second base. Alicia Vasquez (2-0) received the win for the Bears, while Canion got the save.
The Lobos, now 8-10 on the season, were led by freshman Stefanie Carramusa who went 4-for-7 with a double, RBI, stolen base and scored two runs. Hodgins led the team in the second game going 2-for-2 with a triple, RBI, and scored two runs. Gatson (3-3) received both the losses in the circle for New Mexico.
The Lobos head to Columbia, Miss. for the Missouri Tournament Mar. 12-14, where they will take on two top 25 teams.