Stevens: Lobos Sweep Doubleheader in Lobo Invite
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/28/2014

New Mexico Lobos Invitational – At Lobo Field

Friday: New Mexico 5, Buffalo 2; New Mexico 11, Idaho State 10; Buffalo 3, North Dakota State 2;  North Dakota State 7, Idaho State 4.

Saturday: 10 a.m., Buffalo vs. Idaho State. Noon, Idaho State vs. North Dakota State. 3 p.m., Lobos vs. Buffalo. 5 p.m., Lobos vs. North Dakota State.

All parking and entering for Saturday's games, including the neutral games, will be from the SOUTH end of the softball field. 

Sunday: 10 a.m., Buffalo vs. North Dakota State. Noon, Lobos vs. Idaho State.

By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

Lobo Chelsea Anaya’s explanation for New Mexico’s doubleheader sweep Friday at Lobo Field works about a good as any.

“It was our turn for the ball to fall and it was our turn to win,” said Anaya after UNM’s dramatic 11-10 come-from-behind win Friday night over Idaho State (6-7). “It was waiting to be unleashed.”

The Lobos’ win was a nice complement to the 5-2 win they posted earlier on Friday vs. the Buffalo Bulls. That 5-2 come-from-behind win snapped a 10-game losing streak and raised UNM to 3-13 on the season going into two more games on Saturday during the Lobo Invitational.

“It’s nice to get some of the breaks,” said Lobo Coach Erica Beach. “The kids stepped up to the pressure.  When we needed it, they were getting it done.”

The Lobos play Buffalo at 3 p.m., followed by a 5 p.m., game with North Dakota State.  The Lobos are the only team that finished Friday undefeated.

The Lobos got key hits from Jasmine Casados, Karissa Haleman, Jordan Sjostrand and Mariah Rimmer to produce the 5-2 win.  The Lobos had only six hits in that contest, but three of them were timely ones –with runners on base.

Buffalo, now 9-4, had only four hits and didn’t score after the Bulls’ two-run first inning. Carrie Sheehan went five innings for the win and gave up the four hits and the two runs.

The Lobos scored a single run in the bottom of the second to pull to 2-1. Rimmer blasted a triple and continued in for the score on a throwing error.   UNM scored four in the bottom of the fourth to produce the 5-2 win.

Casados hit a single in the fourth to produce the first run knocking in pinch runner Shelby Lucero. Haleman then blasted a double that scored Casados and Michala Erickson.  Sjostrand then singled in Haleman.

“These were two different kinds of wins,” said Beach.  “We were not pitching well in the second game and we had to put a lot of runs on the board.  Our team never gave up. It was fun to watch them scrap and just fight and not give up.  That was really fun.”

New Mexico’s second game was more of a nail-biter as the Lobos were down 9-2 with three innings to play.  UNM scored one, three and four in the top of the seventh to spoil the day for the Bengals, who appeared to be coasting to the win.

The Lobos pounded out 16 hits in the second contest to pull out of their seven-run hole.  UNM got multi-hit games from Anaya, Shelbie Franc, Naomi Tellez, Rimmer and Willow Kalinen.

“Hitting is very contagious,” said Tellez. “Balls are bound to fall for us. The energy was great throughout the game.

“This is our home turf and we don’t want anybody to come in here and show us how it’s done. We are going to set the tone out here for the rest of the season.”

Tellez had three RBIs and Rimmer and Kalinen each had two RBIs in the win over Idaho State.  Anaya scored three runs and eight Lobos scored one run each.

“We were on our home field and we felt confident,” said Anaya. “This feels great. It’s a big confidence builder for the team and especially for the girls. To finally see the results is just everything.”

Said Rimmer: “It’s been a hard last few weeks and we knew we were going to bust it open eventually. We got down (behind), but we never gave up and I’m proud of the girls for that.”

The clutch inning for the Lobos was the top of the seventh when they came up with four runs on five hits.   Another key turn came in the bottom of the sixth when UNM pitcher Lauren Soles took a line drive off her arm and had to leave the game.  Sheehan took over with no outs and a runner on first. She allowed an unearned run off an error by Erickson and the Bengals took a 10-7 lead into the seventh.

UNM rallied to go up 11-10 and Sheehan sealed the win in the bottom of the seventh with three quick Bengal outs.

“I told her before that last inning, when we came from behind, I go, ‘You better throw the best inning of your life right now,’” said Beach. “She came out and shut the door for us. She was ready. Carrie had a really good day on the mound.”

Rimmer knocked in the winning run in the top of the seventh muscling a hard single into right field. The Bengals probably tried to squeeze too many innings out of reliever Bailey Foster and brought in Haley Douglas to pitch to Rimmer

“I got up there and like, OK, she’s a new pitcher, just in.  She’s going to throw a first-pitch strike,” said Rimmer, who blasted Douglas’ first pitch into right.

“It was our turn,” Rimmer said. “Everybody has their battles. Everybody has to fight their demons and at some point you have to overcome that.  I feel as a team we moved forward and took a giant step.  We got clutch hitting. A lot of our runs were scored with two outs.

“It feels good to be home. It feels comfortable. We showed it.”

Said Coach Beach: “I was proud of our team.  They came to play. They were focused. They were excited. To pull out those wins is a big confidence builder.”