Feb. 24, 2006
New Mexico suffered two close losses today at the UTEP Invitational in El Paso, Texas. Each loss came down to only one run decisions as the Lobos fell to San Jose State 2-1 and New Mexico State 4-3. New Mexico is now 2-12 on the season. Tournament action in El Paso resumes for the Lobos tomorrow as they take on Northern Colorado at 9 a.m. MT and San Jose State at 11 a.m. MT.
San Jose State 2 New Mexico 1
EL PASO, Texas - Back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning was all San Jose State needed as it defeated New Mexico 2-1 in the first game of the UTEP Invitational in El Paso, Texas. The Spartans evened their record to 4-4 overall while the Lobos dropped to 2-11.
New Mexico jumped ahead first, scoring its one run in the third inning. Right fielder Ryanne Hodgins singled through the right side to start off the inning. Hodgins then stole second base. Second baseman Kristina Schmallen had a hard groundout to the first basemen, allowing Hodgins to advance to third. Freshman Samantha Hughes hit a single just over the shortstop's head, bringing home Hodgins for the RBI.
Starting Lobo pitcher Katie Gregg looked strong, holding the Spartans scoreless through four innings. In the fifth inning, Spartan's Kristy Ballinger broke through with a solo homer to left field to lead off the inning. Brittany McConnell then came up next with an identical home run to Ballinger's, giving San Jose State the 2-1 lead.
New Mexico tried to start a rally in the sixth inning, but stranded the tying runner at third. In the seventh inning, the Lobos looked like they could make another comeback as Amy Ray and Jennifer Deitrich walked to start off the Lobos' at bat. Hodgins executed a sac bunt pushing the runners to second and third, but relief pitcher Kelly Harrison closed the door, striking out the next two batters to earn the save and end the game.
Nicole Luna-Pickens (2-1) got the win for San Jose State, holding New Mexico to one run on six hits over 5.2 innings of work.
Gregg (1-3) took the loss, allowing two runs on four hits over four innings pitched.
New Mexico State 4 New Mexico 3
EL PASO, Texas- In another battle between in-state rivals, New Mexico State came out on top with a close 4-3 victory over New Mexico. The Lobos had the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to go for a last minute comeback, but the Aggies held tight to earn the win.
New Mexico State scored one run in the top of the second to open scoring in the game. With one runner on, Wendy Gray doubled for the RBI.
New Mexico answered back in the bottom of the second, taking the lead with two runs. Sophomore Lindsey Elcess drew the walk to start off the inning. Shortstop Cassie Chavez put down the sac bunt to move pinch runner Heather Carter to second. Kristina Schmallen then stepped up to hit a double, scoring Carter from second. Schmallen advanced to third on the throw home. Samantha Hughes added the second run with a double to center field, scoring Schmallen from third base.
The Aggies put up one more run in the third inning with Herrera's single to left field.
New Mexico kept its lead, scoring its third run in the bottom of the third inning. Elcess came up to hit a RBI single to center field to keep the Lobos ahead.
Bats were held silent on both sides in the fourth inning as no runs were scored by either team. At the top of the fifth, New Mexico State took control of the game, scoring two runs off a home run from Mailei Hilva, bringing the score to 4-3.
New Mexico kept battling back the next three innings, but couldn't produce the runs, leaving a total seven runners on base for the last three innings.
Freshman Jen Mendenhall (1-7) took the loss for New Mexico, allowing two runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings of work.
Kim Watson (4-1) had the win for the Aggies while Sarah Seagraves picked up the save. Watson held the Lobos to three runs on nine hits over five innings of work in the circle.