ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – After suffering a 12-11 loss in yesterday’s battle, the University of New Mexico softball team came out hot and put together pitching and hitting to claim a 20-3 five-inning victory over Utah State on Saturday afternoon at Lobo Softball Field.
Tess McPherson took the start in the circle for the Lobos and threw to her first win of the season. She is now 1-8 in the circle. She allowed two Aggie runs in the first inning but settled in to what the Lobos needed out of their pitcher. She allowed one more run in the third but kept Utah State off balance in the second, fourth and fifth innings.
“Tess did what we needed her to do,” said head coach Erica Beach. “She did what we have needed our pitchers to do all season. She struggled a little bit in the first inning but was able to make adjustments throughout the game. She got tougher; she got ahead of batters and made them earn their runs. She was lights out today. She was dialed in, fired up and got it done out on the mound for us.”
“That was a big deal and gave our offense a chance to explode and not feel like they had to. The pressure was taken off of the offense for once and it was a lot of fun to watch them go.”
New Mexico’s bats exploded in the next inning scoring five runs with two outs. With the bases loaded, McPherson scored on a passed ball. An RBI single from Willow Kalinen scored Heimburg and Mia Hignojos to bring the lead to 4-2. Naomi Tellez put her second home run of the weekend over the right field fence to put two more runs up for New Mexico.
After the Aggies pushed one across in the third, the Lobos came out swinging again taking a 10-3 lead after the third. Jordan Sjostrand led off the inning with a double to right center. McPherson followed with a double down the left field line to score Sjostrand. Hignojos drew a walk and then later scored on Heimburg’s single through the left side. The inning was capped on an two-RBI single from Rimmer.
McPherson and the Lobos shutdown the Aggies in the fourth quickly and put together their bats for a 10-run fourth inning. Back-to-back-to-back walks loaded the bases for the Lobos and another walk put another run on the board. Kalinen then singled to left center to score two. The Aggies walked in another run and Sjostrand singled to the infield for another RBI. McPherson scored Rimmer off a single to center and Hignojos double to center to score Sjostrand and Casados. The Lobos capped their scoring on a Michala Erickson two-RBI double to right field.
Every starting Lobo pounded out a hit and tallied 17 for the team total. Heimburg went 2-for-2 with two RBIs, two walks and three runs scored. Kalined put together another 3-for-4 effort with four RBIs and three runs scored. Tellez went 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two walks. Rimmer was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. Sjostrand went 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored and McPherson went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Hignojos was perfect at the plate in two at-bats with two RBIs and four runs scored.
“You want that kind of production from your offense as many times in the year as it can. We had production from the top to the bottom of the lineup. We had everything that we needed today and I am just blown away by how well they hit the ball today. You want them to come out every day with that type of attitude. “
The Lobos improve to 15-32 overall and 6-15 in the Mountain West. They will look to win take their first conference series win of the season tomorrow and will also honor the three seniors at 12 noon.