Feb. 10, 2012
New Mexico Lobos at Kajikawa Classic - Tempe, Arizona (ASU) - Feb. 10-12
Friday: Lobos 7, Oregon 6; Lobos 5, Western Michigan 4
Saturday: 11:30 a.m., Lobos vs. Idaho State; 6:30 p.m., Lobos vs. Northwestern
Sunday: 1:30 p.m., Lobos vs. Texas State
GoLobos.com:Game Recaps, Box Scores
TEMPE, Ariz. - The New Mexico Lobos softball team opened its season Friday in perfect fashion at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Well, at least it was perfect on the scoreboard as UNM enters Saturday's games with a perfect 2-0 mark.
Erica Beach'sLobos didn't make it easy on their second-year coach as they waited until the last inning against both No. 11/16 Oregon and Western Michigan to rally for dramatic come-from-behind wins. The Lobos scored four runs in the seventh vs. Oregon to post a 7-6 win and scored two runs in the seventh vs. Western Michigan to win 5-4.
The Lobos took advantage of three errors, two walks and two wild pitches to score four runs in the final frame to shock the Oregon Ducks. The Lobos used some gutsy base running against Western Michigan to score the winning run.
UNM's Shenise Cox had advanced to third on a fly ball and was standing on that bag when teammate Jessica Lujan-Dresslardrove a foul ball deep down the right-field line. Cox tagged up on the catch to snap a 4-4 tie and provide UNM with the winning margin.
"It was a challenge to refocus for game two after such an exciting win against Oregon," Beach said. "Western Michigan played a great game and gave us a great challenge.
"We had to come from behind again and it definitely showed the character of this team. Even after falling behind, we never the let the pressure get to us. We stayed focused and rose to the challenge again.
"These are the kinds of games we weren't able to pull out last season. It's very encouraging to see the growth of the team over the past year and see us capable of winning close ball games."
The win over Western Michigan was clutch and dramatic, but UNM had to come up with three runs in the sixth and four in the seventh to rally out of a 6-0 hole against the highly-regarded Ducks of the Pac-12.
"What is so impressive is how the team never gave up," said Beach. "We had the same level of confidence through all seven innings." New Mexico was down 6-0 heading into the sixth inning as Oregon had scored four runs in the fourth inning and two more in the top of the fifth off five hits--including three home runs--over both innings.
The Lobos were able to hold off any Oregon runs in the final two innings of the season opener, and instead tacked on seven of their own -- three runs in the sixth and four in the seventh.
"We had production from all part of our lineup and had some timely hitting," said Beach of the win over Oregon. "Kaela (DeBroeck) did a great job keeping us in the game after giving up some big hits."
UNM's Stefanie Carramusa started the team's rally in the sixth. The junior third baseman got hit by a pitch and then advanced to second as senior right fielder Shenise Cox grounded out to the pitcher. Left fielder Kerry Hodgins walked and then senior catcher Jessica Garcia knocked a single to left field, loading the bases with Lobos with only one out.
Senior Jessica Lujan-Dresslarstepped up to the plate and smacked a singled to center field, driving in Carramusa and Hodgins. Oregon was able to get Garcia out at second for out number two, but New Mexico wasn't quite through.
With Lujan-Dresslar on first base, sophomore second baseman Chelsea Anaya singled to center field and then junior Sheryl Guillermo hit a single to left to give New Mexico another bases-loaded opportunity. Redshirt sophomore Jordyn Bledsoe got hit by a pitch, advancing all runners and sending Lujan-Dresslar across the plate. Oregon's third out came on a strike out, but the Lobos had gained valuable ground and momentum on the top-20 team--momentum that carried over into the final inning of the contest.
Leading off for the Lobos was again Carramusa, reaching first base on a miscue by the Ducks' shortstop. Cox followed and knocked a double to right center. Carramusa used her speed and headed home, crossing the plate safely thanks to a throwing error by Oregon's second baseman. The error also allowed Cox to advance to third base. With no outs and the score 6-4, New Mexico's Hodgins was walked and then advanced to second on a wild pitch as Garcia battled at the plate, eventually striking out swinging.
New Mexico had one out and runners on second and third when Lujan-Dresslar stepped up to the plate. The Lobo center fielder watched a ball go by and fouled one off before hitting a single to left field, driving in Cox and Hodgins and evening the score at 6-all. Lujan-Dresslar was able to advance to second as the Ducks chased Hodgins and eventually Lujan-Dresslar advanced to third base on a wild pitch.
Anaya hit a grounder to short, giving New Mexico its second out. With Lujan-Dresslar -- the Lobos' winning run -- holding on third, Sheryl Guillermodrew a walk. Bledsoe was next and hit a shot to left field that the Ducks couldn't handle, giving Lujan-Dresslar time to cross home and score the winning run for New Mexico.
Jessica Lujan-Dresslar led the offensive charge, going 2-for-4, tallying four RBIs and scoring two runs. Carramusa and Hodgins also scored two runs apiece, while Carramusa hit 1-for-3 on the game and Hodgins went 1-for-2.
The Broncos of Western Michigan went up 2-0 over the Lobos and held a 4-2 advantage heading into the sixth inning.
UNM freshman Carrie Sheehanpitched 3.2 innings vs. Western Michigan before being relieved by DeBroeck, who finished the game in the circle and picked up her second win of the season. The two Lobos combined to toss a six-hitter. Garcia went 2-for-3 with one run scored and one RBI. Lujan-Dresslar went 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI.
The Lobos pulled to 4-3 vs. Western Michigan in the sixth inning off singles by Garcia, Lujan-Dresslar and Guillermo.
Carramusa started the dramatics in the seventh by leading off with a walk and advancing to second on Cox's single. Hodgins singled to load the bases and Carramusa scored from third on a fly by Garcia to center. That fly pushed Cox to third and she scored on Lujan-Dresslar's long foul.