Feb. 23, 2012
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - My how sweet No. 16 is--for the Lobos, anyway.
New Mexico defeated preseason No. 11/16 Oregon, 7-6, in its opening game of the season on Feb. 10, and run-ruled No. 16 Texas A&M this afternoon, 15-3, in the opening day of the Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. The Lobos are now 10-1 and face Oregon State at 6:30 p.m. MT.
It's the second victory over a top-25 team for Erica Beach and her Lobos this season and the fifth over a ranked team since 2006 for the Lobo softball program.
The Aggies (8-4) had not been run-ruled since April 24, 2010 when they lost 14-1 to then-No. 11 Missouri in College Station, Texas.
"I give a lot of credit to New Mexico," Texas A&M head coach Jo Evans said in a radio interview with 95.1-3 The Zone HD in Palm Springs following the game. "I told my players, `Look at New Mexico and how aggressive they came out. They came out looking for strikes early in the count, they got strikes early in the count, they attacked the ball, they weren't defensive, and they didn't have to hit with two strikes.'
"We've been paying attention to what Erica Beach and her staff are doing--they're doing a terrific job. You can see the team is well coached and they love to play the game--they have a lot of passion for it."
The Lobos pummeled the ball, knocking out 14 hits that translated to 15 runs in six innings.
Stefanie Carramusa led New Mexico at the plate, going 4-for-5, including two home runs in the sixth inning--the second of which was a grand slam. The junior third baseman tallied five RBIs in the game and crossed the plate three times.
Jessica Garcia went 3-for-4 with a single, a double and a three-run home run. The senior drove in seven runs total.
Kerry Hodgins also had an outstanding afternoon, going 3-for-3 scoring two runs and recording two RBIs.
Junior Kaela DeBroeck improved to 6-0, throwing a complete game for the Lobos. DeBroeck struck out three batters, scattered six hits and gave up three earned runs in six innings.
Lobos 15, Texas A&M 3 (6)
New Mexico jumped to an early lead over the Aggies, putting up five runs over the first and second innings and one more in the fourth while holding Texas A&M scoreless until the bottom of the fifth. With the score at 6-3 after five innings, New Mexico went to work putting up nine runs off seven hits in the top of the sixth.
Carramusa led off the game with a single up the middle and was advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Shenise Cox. Kerry Hodgins followed, also hitting a single up the middle and sending Carramusa to third. The Lobos' clean-up hitter was next. Jessica Garcia knocked a double down the left field line, driving in Carramusa and Hodgins to give New Mexico a 2-0 advantage in the first inning.
In the second inning, the Lobos used two hits, capitalized on walks and wild pitches as well as an Aggie error to score three runs.
With two outs the bases were loaded with Lobos Jordan Sjostrand and Shenise Cox as both Kalapsa and Sjostrand had walked and Cox had been hit by a pitch. Hodgins stepped up to the plate and hit her second single of the game, driving in Kalapsa and advancing Sjostrand and Cox.
Following Hodgins was Garcia, who also hit her second single of the day--this time up the middle which drove in Sjostrand and Cox and put the Lobos up 5-0 heading into the bottom of the second inning.
New Mexico tacked on one more run in the top of the fourth as Sjostrand led off with a single down the left field line, was advanced to third on a double to right field by Carramusa and scored off a fly out to center field by Hodgins to make it 6-0 Lobos.
The Aggies made a small charge in the bottom of the fifth inning, using three hits to score three runs. With the two outs and the bases loaded, Texas A&M threatened to add more, but New Mexico was able to play gutsy defense and close the inning still in the lead 6-3.
Carramusa opened the top of the sixth inning with a solo home run over the left field fence - her seventh of the season - making the score 7-3.
Carramusa's homer opened the gate for New Mexico.
Cox followed with a walk and was advanced to second as Hodgins reached on a bunt. Garcia stepped up to the plate and hit a three-run homer to center field -her fifth of the season - making it 10-3 Lobos with no outs in the top of the sixth.
Jessica Lujan-Dresslar kept the momentum going, reaching on a single down the left field line. The Aggies then called for a pitching change--their third of game and second of the inning--putting in Lauren Ainsley and relieving Lauren Tamayo after facing two batters.
Chelsea Anaya reached on a walk, putting Lujan-Dresslar on second with no outs. Cassandra Kalapsa struck out, but then Bledsoe singled through the left side to load the bases. Sjostrand followed in similar fashion, singling through the left side and driving in Bledsoe.
With the score at 11-3 it was the top of the order and déjà vu as Carramusa sent the ball out of the park for the second time that inning-- a one-out grand slam, making it 15-3 New Mexico.
Texas A&M was able to strike out and put out the next two Lobo batters, but the damage had already been done as New Mexico had notched nine runs in the top of the sixth.
The Aggies needed to put up five runs in the bottom of the sixth to stay alive per the eight-run mercy rule.
DeBroeck took the first batter herself, catching Cassie Tysarczyk looking for the hurler's third strikeout of the game. The Aggies' next batter, Amber Garza, reached on a blooper to left field, but Brittany Clopton grounded out to second base and left fielder Emily Albus grounded out to Bledsoe at shortstop to end the inning and the game--15-3, New Mexico.