April 21, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico softball team dropped a pair of Mountain West Conference games to visiting UNLV at the UNM Softball Complex today. The Lobos are now (21-23) overall and (2-10) in the Mountain West Conference. UNLV is (19-30), (4-8) in league play.
Game 1 - UNLV 6, UNM 3 (8 innings)
Lack of defense and forgetfulness was New Mexico's downfall in the 6-3 loss to UNLV in eight innings.
After senior shortstop Cassie Chavez sent the game into extra innings with a dramatic game-tying, two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, any momentum for the Lobos quickly disappeared.
The Rebels scored three unearned runs in the eighth on just one hit. Three UNM errors proved costly.
UNLV's Maggie Livreri led off the decisive frame by reaching on second baseman Kristina Schmallen's fielding error. After two forceouts at second and Kendall Fearn now at first, Rosa Ordaz grounded to Schmallen for what should have been the third out of the inning. However, Lobo first baseman Samantha Hughes dropped Schmallen's relay.
Thinking the play would be routine and the inning over, UNM catcher Liz Young was headed to the dugout. After Hughes' misplay and no one covering home, Fearn steamed all the way around from first to score. Hughes threw the ball anyway, receiving her second error on the play by allowing Ordaz to take second.
Jen Mendenhall (6-10) walked Caitlyn Paus and Sandy Nakamura followed with the Rebels' only hit of the inning - a back-breaking double to left-center - to score two runs.
UNLV actually scored all six of its runs with two outs while the Lobos struggled to produce a key hit with runners on base.
Chavez tried to be the hero again in the bottom of the eighth. Representing the winning run with the bases full, Chavez's winning bid came up a few feet short as her fly came to rest in the glove of left-fielder Brittany Bolinger, who recorded the final out on the warning track.
The Rebels struck early when Livreri slugged a two-out solo homer in the first. They made it 3-0 in the third. After Mendenhall retired the first two hitters, Brittany Freight doubled and scored on Bolinger's single to right. Livreri walked, then pitcher Shannon Crisp singled up the middle to bring home Bolinger.
New Mexico finally scratched out a run in the sixth. Schmallen, who went 4-for-4, and Analise Rubalcava singled and Ashley Allen was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Becky McDonald replaced Crisp and got Liz Young on a foul-ball sacrifice fly to left, then fanned Jennifer Deitrich.
The Lobo seventh started when Ryanne Hodgins was hit by a pitch. After Hughes struck out, Chavez ripped her fifth homer of the season over the left-field wall to tie the game at 3. It was the 24th home run of Chavez's career, third-best on the UNM list.
The Lobos got 12 hits, but stranded 12. In addition to leaving the bases loaded in the eighth, UNM left two runners aboard in the second, fifth and sixth innings.
Game 2 - UNLV 11, UNM 3 (5 innings)
The Lobos scored only three runs and couldn't close out an inning as UNLV scored 10 of their 11 runs with two outs, en-route to an 11-3 win in game two of the doubleheader.
UNLV jumped on New Mexico early in game two with four runs in the top of the first. The inning started with a leadoff double by Brittany Freight and was finished with a two out grand slam by Rosa Ordaz.
The Lady Rebels would continue to add to their lead with a run in the third, four in the fourth and two more in the fifth.
The Lobos got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Cassie Chavez led off the inning with a single to left and moved to second on an error by the leftfielder. Kristina Schmallen followed with a single to center and Lindsey Elcess walked to load the bases. Ashley Allen though would hit into a double play that scored Chavez and Liz Young popped up to second to end the promising inning.
UNM would push two more runs across in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI double by Ryanne Hodgins and a RBI single by Chavez for the 11-3 final.
UNLV's Christie Robinson gets the win and moves to 6-10, while Katie Gregg takes the loss to fall to 11-7.
UNM plays its final home games of the season Sunday when league-leading San Diego State comes to town. The doubleheader gets underway at Lobo Field at 12 noon. New Mexico's three seniors - Cassie Chavez, Katie Gregg and Kristina Schmallen - will be recognized before the first game.
Sunday is Youth Day with tickets just $1 for ages 18 and under. The first 200 fans will receive a free UNM foam bat. Afterwards, the Lobos and the MVP Baseball/Softball Academy, will conduct a free clinic for Little League teams in attendance.