ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico softball team dropped the first game of the series against Colorado State 6-0 but rallied in game two to upset the Rams 6-3 for a Mountain West doubleheader split on Tuesday afternoon at Rams Field.
After three scoreless innings in the second game and trailing 2-0, the Lobos put timely hits together to score two runs in the fourth. Naomi Tellez led off the inning with a single to left field. She advanced to second on a passed ball and then scored on Mariah Rimmer’s double to right center. Rimmer advanced to third on Jasmine Casados’ fly out to right and scored on a wild pitch.
“Our offense played hard all game,” said head coach Erica Beach. “They came up with some clutch hits today.”
The Lobos took a 4-2 lead in the fifth inning. With one out, Willow Kalinen singled up the middle and moved to second on Shelbie Franc’s single to left. The two then scored on Tellez’s double to right center.
New Mexico kept the bats going for the next two innings, plating one run in the sixth and one run in the seventh. Jordan Sjostrand scored on a passed ball in the sixth and Rimmer, who tripled to right center, scored on Casados’ single to left.
Carrie Sheehan kept the Rams off balance, keeping them scoreless for five out of the seven innings. The Rams did plate one across in the sixth but Sheehan shut them down in the seventh for her third complete game of the season. She walked four and struck out three, improving her record to 5-8 on the season.
“Carrie competed every inning,” Beach said. “I’m very proud of how she kept us in the game.”
In game one, the Lobos out-hit the Rams 7-6 but had a hard time coming up with key hits to score runs. Kalinen recorded the first hit for New Mexico in the third, an infield single but the Lobos couldn’t come up with a timely hit to move her around the bases. Franc led off the fourth with a single to left field and Casados led off the sixth with a single to center but both were stranded. Brandi Heimburg was the only Lobo to get past second base. With one out in the sixth, she doubled to left and advanced to third on Franc’s infield single.
Tess McPherson took the loss in her first complete game of the season, dropping to 0-8. She allowed six runs off six hits while striking out three and walking three in six innings of work.
“It was great to have both pitchers throw complete games,” said Beach.
On the day, Rimmer went 4-for-7 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored. Tellez was 2-for-4 in the second game with two RBIs. Franc led the Lobos in the first game, going 2-for-3.
Going into the Mountain West series, Colorado State was in a three-way tie for first place with Fresno State and San Diego State. With the Lobo win in game two, Colorado State could potentially be knocked out of first place due to San Diego State’s and Fresno State’s performance.
The Lobos are 14-30 overall and 5-12 in the Mountain West. Their five wins have come against the top-five teams in the conference. Colorado State is 28-11 on the season and 9-5 in the conference. The two teams will fight for the series win tomorrow at 1 p.m. MT.