TUSCON, Ariz. – The Lobos had another tough day on the diamond, suffering a 4-2 loss to Grand Canyon in the first game and a 9-1 five-inning loss to No. 4/6 Alabama on Saturday at the Hillenbrand Invitational hosted by the University of Arizona.
Game 1 – Grand Canyon 4, New Mexico 2
The Lobos saw their offense pick up in the first game as they pounded out six hits, including a solo home run from sophomore Naomi Tellez but was not enough to get past Grand Canyon as the Antelopes used a three-run sixth inning to claim a 4-2 win.
Grand Canyon was on the board first at the top of the third inning after a walk, stolen base and a single to right field.
The Lobos were scoreless for three innings before they tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore Mariah Rimmer started the inning with a hard-hit single up the middle. She advanced to second on Karissa Haleman’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Mia Hignojos sacrifice fly to center field.
The Antelopes added three runs in the top of the sixth to take a 4-1 lead. A triple from Wartman plated two runs and a wild pitch by Sheehan scored another Antelope across the plate.
After holding Grand Canyon scoreless in the top of the seventh, the Lobos had one last chance to straighten things up. Tellez led off the inning with a solo shot over the left field wall, bringing the score to 4-2. The next three Lobos went down one, two, three.
Sheehan (1-3) suffered the loss in the circle, striking out three, walking four and allowing four runs. Grand Canyon’s Regester recorded the win, allowing four hits, one run while striking out one and walking one.
Game 2 – New Mexico vs. No. 6/4 Alabama
For the first time this season, the Lobos were on the scoreboard first, plating Anaya on an attempted squeeze bunt play but the ball dropped out of the Alabama third baseman’s glove. But the Lobos saw their 1-0 lead quickly turn into a five-inning 9-1 loss.
Alabama’s very first hitter of the game took starting Lobo pitcher Tess McPherson’s ball straight over the right center wall to tie the game up quick. Alabama hit two back-to-back singles, drew a walk and hit another single before the Lobos recorded their first out and sophomore pitcher Lisa Rodrigues entered the game for the Lobos. Alabama ended up scoring six runs to take an early 6-1 lead over the Lobos at the end of the first inning.
The Lobos could not get any more offense going as they only pounded out three hits on the game. Anaya hit a triple with one out in the third inning but Alabama’s pitcher Sydney Littlejohn sat down the next two batters, leaving Anaya stranded on third base.
The Crimson Tide added three more runs, off two home runs, in the third inning to put the mercy rule into effect.
UNM had no answer in its next two chances. With two outs in the third inning, Haleman drew a two-out walk, but senior Jordan Sjostrand struck out swinging to end the inning. Heimburg also drew a two-out walk in the fourth, but Jasmine Casados flew out to center field for the final out of the game.
McPherson (0-2) suffered the loss in the circle, allowing six runs off four hits, striking out one and walking one. Rodrigues pitched 3.2 innings and allowed three runs off four hits while striking out four and walking one. Littlejohn went the distance for the Crimson Tide, pitching five innings and allowing one run on three hits while striking out four and walking three.
The Lobos, dropping to 1-7 on the season, will play their final game of the Hillenbrand Invitational tomorrow at 9 a.m. MST against Tennessee State.