April 28, 2006
The University of New Mexico softball team snapped a five-game losing streak with a 7-3 win at Utah today. The Lobos (22-26, 3-13 MWC) totaled seven hits while the Utes committed three costly errors in the first game of today's doubleheader. Utah (29-15, 8-4 MWC) came back in the second game to score an 8-5 win. Both teams managed nine hits in the second game, but UNM could not overcome a four-run first inning by the Utes. Sophomore Lindsey Elcess had a strong day in Salt Lake City, going 4-7 from the plate with a double, two home runs and four RBIs.
Game 1 Recap
The first game began as a pitchers' dual with just one hit between the two teams through the first two innings. The Lobos opened things up with four runs in the third. Senior Cassie Chavez had an RBI-single and two miscues by the Ute defense gave UNM the first lead of the game. Utah came back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning to cut into the lead.
The Lobo offensive power stepped up in the fifth with a pair of solo homers from Elcess and Chavez, pushing the lead to 6-1. It was Elcess' 9th of the year and the seventh for Chavez. Chavez now has 26 bombs in her career, tying with Danielle Cassara (1997-00) for second on UNM's all-time list. Kathy Moore (1998-01) holds the career mark with 36 home runs.
Utah added two more in the bottom of the fifth to close the gap to 6-3. Senior Katie Gregg came took over for freshman Jen Mendenhall on the mound in the fifth. She blanked Utah over the final 2 2/3 innings to get the save. Freshman Analise Rubalcava had an RBI single in the seventh to ensure that Mendenhall, who scattered three runs and five hits over 4 1/3, would get the win.
Game 2 Recap
Gregg cruised through the last two innings of the first game, but the Utah hitters made the necessary adjustments between games. Gregg started game two and proceeded to give up four runs and five hits in 1/3 of an inning before Mendenhall came back in relief.
Trailing 4-0, Elcess tried to mount a comeback in the second inning. She smacked her second solo shot of the day, closing the gap to 4-1. It was her 10th home run of the season, second on the team behind senior Kristina Schmallen's 12. Elcess and Schmallen are just the second Lobo duo to hit over 10 home runs in a season in school history.
After another Ute run in the bottom of the second, UNM scored three times in the third to close the lead to 5-4. That was as close as they would get, eventually falling 8-5.
UNM travels to BYU tomorrow for a doubleheader in Provo,Utah, beginning at 2:00 p.m. (M.D.T.).