Feb. 20, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A rough first inning cost the University of New Mexico softball team in its 4-3 loss to Wisconsin in game three of the New Mexico Invitational this afternoon at Lobo Field. New Mexico (3-6) outscored Wisconsin (3-7) 3-1 over the final six innings, but the Badgers' three quick runs to open the game proved too much to overcome.
New Mexico had the tying run aboard in the sixth, but Wisconsin starter Letty Olivarez eliminated the threat with a pair of groundouts, including a double play to end the inning.
UNM pitcher Analise Rubalcava - a converted third baseman - got into trouble early as the first four UW batters all reached on singles in a five-hit, three-run opening frame. Rubalcava (2-4), however, settled down and pitched her way out of trouble the rest of the way. The senior allowed just a single run, while striking out three over the next six innings to keep the Lobos within striking distance.
Things looked bleak for New Mexico entering the fourth as the Lobos trailed 4-0 and had yet to get their first hit.
Junior first baseman Katie Gilmore changed things around quickly, however, ripping a double to right-center to lead off the inning. Gilmore came around to score two batters later on freshman outfielder Jessica Lujan-Dresslar's bloop single to left.
Rookie catcher Jessica Garcia, who reached on a fielder's choice, added another run for the Lobos when her Wisconsin counterpart, Nichole Abney, threw the ball away on a double steal.
New Mexico struck again in the fifth when Gilmore reached on a fielder's choice and Rubalcava drilled a two-out double into right-center to cut the Badger lead to one.
Olivarez allowed four hits, walked five and struck out five in seven innings to get her first win of the year.
Wisconsin evened its New Mexico Invitational record to 1-1 after falling to Texas Tech, 5-4, earlier in the day.