ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Naomi Tellez led off the fourth inning by going yard and the University of New Mexico softball team recorded another run in the sixth to take a 8-6 victory over a tough San Diego State squad on Sunday afternoon at the Lobo softball field.
“We competed in the first game, back and forth,” said head coach Erica Beach. “We knew we could go toe-to-toe with them. So that was a big step in the right direction for us.”
With a two-two count, Tellez blasted one over the left field fence, the winning hit and run to take a 7-6 lead over the Aztecs.
“That was big and for us to push those last two runs across, take the lead and get that insurance run was big,” said Beach. “We had a lot of big areas of production throughout the lineup. Every spot helped us out in some way. We are really proud of the offense and they have been pushing hard all weekend. It was nice for them to get a win after showing all of the effort in the first two games.”
Lauren Soles had a rocky start in the circle but pitched three final scoreless innings to hold off SDSU. The defense also played a role in holding off the Aztecs, including a diving play from Chelsea Anaya in the sixth.
“Our defense got us out of some big innings,” said Beach. “Chelsea made that diving play in the three-four hole. We played truly as a team today and took advantage of every opportunity.”
After battling two games with the Aztecs on Friday and Saturday, the Lobos came out with fire. Despite giving up a run in the second, the Lobos took advantage of the Aztecs defense and put six runs up on the board.
The inning started off with a double to right center from Jasmine Casados. She scored on the next play, a single up the middle from Jordan Sjostrand. Karissa Haleman reached on an error by the third baseman and moved Sjostrand to third. With one out, Kalinen drew a walk to load the bases. The final ball of the at-bat scooted by the catcher and Sjostrand was plated.
After the Aztecs changed pitchers to their ace, Danielle O’Toole, the Lobos put across four more runs before the inning was over. Anaya reached on an error by the pitcher and back-to-back singles from Brandi Heimburg and Tellez plated Haleman and Kalinen. Casados drew an RBI walk to score Anaya and Heimburg scored on a wild pitch before the final out was recorded.
SDSU plate one in the third to cut the Lobo lead to 6-2 and a four-run fourth tied the game at 6-6 until Tellez brought home the victory for the Lobos.
UNM pushed an insurance run across in the sixth as Heimburg started the inning by reaching base on a dropped fly ball by the center fielder. Tellez singled up the middle to move Heimburg to second. Heimburg later scored on a double steal with Casados that confused the SDSU’s defense.
Soles picked up the victory in the circle, her third on the season. She allowed six runs off five hits while walking nine and striking out two. The Aztecs’ ace O’Toole dropped to 17-4 on the season. In 4.2 innings of relief, she allowed four runs off seven hits while striking out four and walking one.
“We needed a pitcher to throw a decent game and Lauren did that, said Beach. “We still have a lot of growing to do and we gave up too many free base runners but she threw a better game, kept us in the game and threw shutout innings when we needed them the most.”
Tellez went 3-for-3 at the plate, leading the Lobos with two RBIs. Sjostrand went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. The Lobos pounded out nine hits, including three extra base hits.
The Lobos improve to 10-20 on the season and 1-2 in Mountain West play. The win over SDSU is the first win since April 12, 2009 when the Lobos claimed a 3-1 win over the Aztecs. SDSU drops to 24-9 on the season and 2-1 in the Mountain West.
Next weekend the Lobos are on the road to Nevada for a three-game series before returning home the following weekend to host Fresno State for more conference action.