Feb. 9, 2007
TEMPE, Ariz. --- The New Mexico softball team opened the 2007 season Friday against Ohio State in the Kajikawa Classic hosted by Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. UNM held the game scoreless until the fifth inning and rallied late but could not overcome a grand slam by OSU falling, 4-3. The Lobos were solid defensively and did not commit an error against the Buckeyes. Despite a well played game, UNM falls to 0-1 with the loss, while OSU moves to 1-0.
Junior college transfer Kelly Ninemire was the opening day starter for the Lobos. Ninemire cruised through four innings of work holding OSU scoreless and limited to three hits. In the fourth, the Buckeyes managed to load the bases for true-freshman Sam Marder. Marder snapped the scoreless game with her first career grand slam over the centerfield fence.
UNM responded in the bottom of the sixth with a three-run rally sparked by a Ryanne Hodgins walk to lead off the inning. Sophomore Analise Rubalcava walked with two outs to bring junior Lindsey Elcess to the plate. Elcess followed with an RBI single to center scoring Samantha Hughes, who reached on a fielders choice, and putting UNM on the board. Freshman Katie Gilmore capped the rally with a two RBI double to center to bring the Lobos with one, 4-3. UNM forced the Buckeyes to go to the bullpen and bring in Megan Miller, who closed out the inning.
With the momentum now in UNM's favor, it was up to freshman pitcher Tori Rogers to slam the door. OSU tried to capitalize on a single and a walk but Rogers and the UNM defense held strong moving into the bottom of the seventh still down by one.
The Lobos were knocking on the door again in their final at-bat. Freshman catcher Erin Brandow was hit by a pitch with one out to put the tying run on-base. Senior Amy Ray singled but UNM could not force across a run. The Buckeyes made the plays defensively and squeaked away with a 4-3 victory.
Ninemire (0-1) went five innings in the circle for UNM giving up six hits and four earned runs. Rogers came on in relief to pitch two scoreless inning in her first collegiate appearance.
UNM collected four hits against OSU with Hodgins going 1-for-1, while Gilmore was 1-for-2 with two RBI in her first college game. Elcess hit well in the designated player position going 1-for-2 with an RBI.
The Lobos return to action tonight against Arizona State University at 8:30 p.m. MT. For more information about UNM athletics visit www.GoLobos.com.