New Mexico Earns Second Win of Weekend Series with Boise State
April 6, 2013
New Mexico Lobos Softball - Mountain West home opener - vs. Boise State, April 5-7Friday: Lobos def. Boise State, 7-6
Saturday: Sunday: Lobos vs. Boise State, 12 p.m. MT
GoLobos.com: GameTracker, Live Stream, LoboTV highlights, box scores and game recaps
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico softball team earned its second Mountain West win in as many days as the Lobos topped Boise State, 6-5, on Saturday evening in front of 179 fans at Lobo Field.
UNM improves to 18-23 overall and is 2-3 in league play. Two MW wins for the Lobos ties their conference win total from last season and secures their first MW series win since the 2011 season.
The Broncos drop to 16-19-1 overall and 0-2 in MW play.
"Last weekend we played hard against San Diego State and we were so close to being able to take a couple of games so I knew we weren't far off," head coach Erica Beach said. "San Diego State is the best team in this conference and we played toe-to-toe with them, so I knew that we would be competitive with every team from here on out. We were confident heading into this weekend and we knew that we could compete."
The first two of the three-game series with the Broncos have been close, one-run decisions.
Friday afternoon UNM battled back from an 0-3 deficit by putting up five runs on five hits in the fifth inning and adding a run in the sixth thanks to two hits and a sacrifice fly to lead 6-3 going into the seventh inning. Boise State tied the game in the top of the seventh and then picked off the Lobos' lead-off runner at first who had reached on a single. Senior Cassandra Kalapsa ended the game with a walk-off homer, 7-6, New Mexico.
On Saturday the Lobos took a 6-0 lead after three frames as they put up three runs in both the second and third innings. An RBI triple by Kari Guiterrez and RBI singles by Mia Hignojos and Kaity Ingram highlighted the second inning. In the third, a solo home run by Cassandra Kalapsa and singles by Gutierrez and Jordyn Bledsoe, paired with a passed ball by Boise State's catcher aided in UNM's offensive effort.
That hefty advantage was threatened in the fifth inning as the Broncos put up five runs on three hits and four walks drawn. Tight defense and clutch pitching helped UNM hold on to its lead and clinch the 6-5 win.
"It's been a battle this weekend," Beach said. "Every inning has been a battle. Boise State fights hard and they have a great offense, which makes us work hard for these wins. It's a great lesson for our team to have to battle through seven innings.
"Right now, we're still trying to work on putting everything together and firing on all cylinders," Beach said. "We're close. We're learning how to win -- that's important. We have a lot of new faces, playing at the DI-level for the first time so this is a learning experience for them. It's been fun exploring that with them."
Freshman Lauren Soles is one of those new faces and the rookie hurler earned the save Saturday and was an important factor in the Lobo victory.
The lefty came on as UNM's second relief pitcher of the inning and faced a lead-threatening situation: no outs, two runs already scored and the bases loaded. Two runs scored with Soles in the circle -- one on a walk and the other on a wild pitch -- but Soles and the Lobos were able to get out of the inning with a lineout to short stop, a force out at home and a groundout to Soles in the circle.
Only one Bronco reached base the rest of the game.
Senior Kaela DeBroeck got the start in circle and threw the first four innings and part of the fifth. She earned the win and improves to 5-6. In 22 batters faced, DeBroeck allowed six hits and three earned runs while walking three and striking out one.
Sophomore Carrie Sheehan came on in relief in the fifth. She faced three batters, allowing one hit and two earned runs as she walked two.
"We had to take Kaela out in the fifth as she wasn't feeling well," Beach said. "She was feeling weak and when I saw her pitches starting to fail and they were starting to jump on her, I wasn't willing to risk any more.
"Unfortunately, Carrie had a bad day, but Lauren was able to come in and bail them out and get out of the inning with the lead still. It was a close, hard fought game."
Redshirt junior Jordyn Bledsoe also had two hits and scored one run for the Lobos.
Sunday's game between New Mexico and Boise State begins at 12:00 p.m. MT.