May 4, 2012
New Mexico Lobos Softball - At Lobo Field
Friday: UNLV Lady Rebels 8, New Mexico Lobos 4
Saturday: 5 p.m. (MT), UNLV at New Mexico
Sunday: 1 p.m. (MT), UNLV at New Mexico - Senior Day
GoLobos.com: GameTracker, live streaming, final stats and recaps
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
At the game's end, there weren't that many moments where Lobo fans could look down at the scoreboard in the right-field corner of Lobo Field and find pleasure.
The UNLV Lady Rebels came into town riding an eight-game losing streak and sitting all alone in the Mountain West cellar at 0-6. Their surprising 8-4 Mountain West win Friday night pulled the Lobos down beside them. Both teams are 1-6.
But there was one moment when the eyes of Lobo players and Lobo fans turned collectively and sharply at the blast that Stefanie Carramusa sent screaming at the right-field target to open UNM's seventh.
The offering from UNLV's Amanda Oliveto wasn't really a mistake as the ball broke away from Carramusa and teased the outside corner. But the hard-hitting Lobo reached out, made good contact, got the good part of the bat on the ball and sent a shot rifling down the right-field line and heading toward the board.
It probably was a good thing that Carramusa's line drive cleared the scoreboard. It was a smash.
It also was the Lobo junior's 22nd home run of the season and gives her a little cushion on teammate Jessica Garcia in their pursuit of UNM's 2012 long-ball crown and probably the Mountain West crown that will come with it.
Garcia hit the ball well Friday, too, and went 3-of-3 with a double, but did not launch one over the wall. She takes 20 home runs and a nine-game hitting streak into Saturday's game with the visitors from Vegas.
The Lobos need Carramusa and Garcia to stay hot, but they also need a few other Lobos to produce at the plate and in the circle in order to get some payback on the Lady Rebs. The loser of Saturday's game will be alone in the MW cellar -- at least for a day.
The Lady Rebels and the Lobos each had 10 hits on Friday, but the Rebs hit four balls over the wall including a grand slam in the top of the fourth by Stefany Valentino - her first launch of the 2012 season.
"We knew that UNLV would be competitive and wouldn't come in here and roll over for us," said Lobo Coach Erica Beach. "They had some big hits and that was one of the differences in the ball game.
"We have to come back on Saturday and do what we have done all season - battle back."
The Lobos extended their lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the third. Cox reached on a single and scored on a Garcia double. Garcia scored on a Danielle Castro single.
In the fourth, the Lady Rebels loaded the bases on three batters hit by pitches. That brought up Valentino with the bases jammed. UNM's Carrie Sheehan almost got Valentino out on a change-up that just missed the outside corner. Sheehan came inside on her next pitch and Valentino pulled the ball deep over the right-field fence.
The Lady Rebels added two runs in the top of the sixth when a throw home sailed high and UNLV runners scored from third and second. The Lady Rebels got two more runs in the top of the seventh when Tayler Van Acker and Kylie Wagner hit back-to-back homers. It also was Wagner's first dinger of the 2012 season.
Oliveto got the win for UNLV with five strikeouts against two walks. Sheehan picked up the loss striking out one and walking three. Kaela DeBroeck took over the circle in the sixth inning and gave up the two home runs in the seventh.
The loss dropped UNM to 26-21 on the season and 1-6 in MW play. The win bumped UNLV to 20-24 and 1-6. Following Sunday's game, UNM will honor its five seniors of 2012 -- Danielle Castro, Shenise Cox, Jessica Garcia, Kerry Hodgins and Jessica Lujan-Dresslar.