TUCSON, Ariz. – In a back-and-forth battle through six innings, Tennessee State had a two-run seventh inning that New Mexico had no answer for as the Lobos suffered a 6-4 loss on Sunday morning, the final game of the Hillenbrand Invitational.
The Tigers started the seventh inning by drawing a walk. A single and a sac bunt put runners on second and third for Tennessee State and a fielder’s choice loaded the bases. With one out, the Tigers drew another walk that put them ahead 5-4 for the winning run. Another single to center field plated one more for the Tigers. The Tigers tried to get three but was gunned down by sophomore Mariah Rimmer.
Tennessee State was on the board first with one run in the second inning. The Lobos answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Michala Erickson led off the Lobos with a solo shot over the left field wall, her second on the season. Rimmer tripled on the next play and scored on a single to the infield by senior Jordan Sjostrand.
Two scoreless innings went by as Carrie Sheehan allowed just one runner to reach base on a single to center field, but the Tigers got to Sheehan and the Lobos by forcing errors and drawing walks to push a run across to tie the game.
In the top of the sixth inning and with redshirt freshman Tess McPherson now in the circle, Tennessee State added two more runs, but New Mexico answered in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 4-4. With one out, freshman Jasmine Casados reach on a fielding error by the third baseman and Tellez redeemed herself with a two-RBI bomb over the left field wall for her second home run on the season.
With the Tigers up 6-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Lobos were looking for ways to get on base. With one out, freshman Willow Kalinen singled to the short stop, but the next two Lobos went down in order.
The Lobos pounded out six hits two Tennessee State’s seven. Rimmer led the Lobos at the plate, going 2-for-3. McPherson suffered the loss in the circle, pitching two innings and allowing four runs on four hits. Sheehan tallied a six strikeouts and allowed two runs on three hits. Tennessee State’s Shea Morris allowed four runs on six hits and recorded six strikeouts.
“The team gradually improved throughout the weekend,” said head coach Erica Beach. “We made strides on offense and in the circle. We continue to grow each day and make sure we continue to compete every inning. Once our team catches fire, it will be hard to stop us. We just need to stay positive and continue to work on our weaknesses and I have no doubt we will be where we need to be when conference starts.”
New Mexico dropped to 1-8 on the season. Next weekend, the Lobos will be off to sunny California for the Mary Nutter Classic. First game will be 11:30 a.m. MT against LIU Brooklyn.