TEMPE, Ariz. – The Lobo softball team found the timely hit in their first game on the day, claiming a 11-10 win over UC Riverside. Their second game was quite the same as the first three games on the season, as they couldn’t get the offensive runs on the board and the pitching staff had a hard time finding their groove, suffering a 10-0 loss to Portland State on Saturday afternoon at Tempe Sports Complex.
“It was good to get our first win under our belt,” said head coach Erica Beach. “It was a hard battle and it was fun to see our offense explode like that.”
Sophomore Naomi Tellez led the Lobos on the day going 4-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs and two walks. Senior Chelsea Anaya went 3-for-6 with two RBIs. Carrie Sheehan collected the Lobos first victory in the circle, allowing eight runs, six earned, and striking out two.
New Mexico posted a 1-4 record to start the 2014 season. UC Riverside dropped to 0-1 and Portland State improved to 2-1.
GAME 1 – New Mexico 11, UC Riverside 10
The first game started out like many of the Lobos first games as UC Riverside scored three runs in the first inning, but the Lobos answered back and put four runs on the board to take a 4-3 lead. Mariah Rimmer started the offense with a double down the left field line. She scored on Anaya’s single to left field and Anaya advanced to second on the throw. Two walks later, Tellez singled through the left field side and scored Anaya and Jasmine Casados to tie the game at 3-3. Michala Erickson scored on the throw that ran down Tellez in a pickle.
A run adding a run in the second and third innings, the Lobos came up with another big offensive inning to score three runs in the fifth inning. With one out, Tellez drew a walk and advanced to second on Heimburg’s ground out to the third baseman. Jordan Sjostrand reach on a dropped ball by the left fielder and Tellez scored. Shelbie Franc singled into left field, but the left fielder recorded another error which score Gabrielle Stacey and Sjostrand.
After Sheehan and the Lobos had a three-up-three-down sixth inning, the Lobos added two insurance runs that were needed going into the seventh inning. Anaya put down a bunt for a base hit and on the very next pitch Casados took the ball deep to left center for her first hit as a Lobo.
UC Riverside added a run in the fourth, but really came alive and almost had a comeback in the top of the seventh. The Lobos were looking for three outs, but the Highlanders took control of the game, pounding out five hits off Sheehan. Tess McPherson entered the game and gave up a home run that capped the Highlanders scoring for the inning before striking out the last batter to finish the game.
Dioone Anderson, Karina Romero and Taylor Wright each had three hits for the Highlanders. Sophie Slagle suffered the loss in the circle, allowing four runs and three hits while walking two Lobos.
Anaya went 3-for-4 at the plate while Tellez was perfect in two at bats.
GAME 2 – Portland State 10, New Mexico 0 (5 innings)
After claiming an 11-10 win over UC Riverside, the second game proved to be the opposite and much like the first three games of the season, as the Lobos were held scoreless through five innings. Portland State was out on top early with two runs in the first inning, scoring in every inning of the game. They added one run in the second, three runs in the fourth and four runs in the fourth.
The Lobos only tallied four hits with Tellez leading the way, going 2-for-2. Sjostrand and Casados each collected a hit. Lisa Rodrigues suffered the loss in the circle. She struck out two, walked four and allowed six runs in 2.2 innings.
Portland State’s Megan Hendrix recorded the win, allowing four hits and striking out one.
“Over the weekend, we discovered a lot of things about our team that needs work, but we also figured out a lot of great things we are doing right now,” said Beach. “It’s important to face top competition early on to expose the areas we need to make stronger. I’m proud of how this team has stayed together and continued to work hard every game.”
POST GAME NOTES: Casados’ home run was her first hit in a Lobo uniform. Tellez is leading the team through the first five games, hitting .636 (7-for-11) with four RBIs. Anaya is hitting .375 (6-for-16) with a .412 on-base percentage. Next weekend, the Lobos will head to the Hillenbrand Invitational hosted by the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz.