Stevens: Lobos Give Up Seven In The Fifth to Fall 9-6 to Nevada

April 19, 2013

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New Mexico Lobo Softball - Mountain West Action - At Lobo Field

Friday: Nevada 9, New Mexico Lobos 6
Next Games: 6 p.m., Saturday; 1 p.m., Sunday
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By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

When you play the best hitting team in the Mountain West, there are a few things you need to do and a few things you need to avoid.

It's nice to jump up early on a hard hitting team like Nevada and the Lobos did that pounding out a 5-1 lead after two innings.

It's nice to match Nevada in the long-ball category and UNM did that with Jordan Sjostrand's solo shot in the sixth inning. Nevada also got one dinger.

One thing you don't want to do is let Nevada kick out a big inning and the Lobos made that mistake in the top of the fifth. That seven-run outburst propelled the visitors from Reno to a 9-6 Mountain West win Friday night at Lobo Field.

The teams play at 6 p.m., Saturday and conclude the three-game MW series at 1 p.m., on Sunday.

"We opened the door for them by not making some routine plays and then giving up the big hits," said Lobo Coach Erica Beach. "You get up by four and you have to get outs. We were trying to be a little too fine with things and it ended up back firing on us.

"Giving up seven runs in one inning is tough to come back from."

The Lobos cracked the scoreboard in the first inning when Courtney Geith slapped a single up the middle, advanced to third on a double by Kaity Ingram and scored on a grounder by Mariah Rimmer. UNM stranded Ingram.

UNM extended its lead to 5-1 in the second scoring four times off only two hits -- singles by Rimmer and Naomi Tellez. The Lobos got a lot of help from the Wolf Pack, who had two errors and walked three Lobos.

It could have been a better inning for UNM, and a worse frame for Nevada, as UNM stranded three runners: Tellez, Rimmer and Cassandra Kalapsa.

"We attacked their first pitcher (Megan Dortch) well," said Beach. "Their second pitcher (Ariel Craig) kept us off balance with her off-speed stuff and drop ball."

The Lobos got to Craig in the seventh and final frame and had runners on first and second with no out. The Wolf Pack went to their bullpen and pulled out Karlyn Jones. Jones struck out Kari Gutierrez, Mia Hignojos and Karissa Haleman in succession to end the Lobos' threat.

"We know we can score runs on them and we'll be back out here Saturday battling," said Beach.

Nevada went into the fifth down 5-1 and came out with an 8-5 lead. The inning started with a walk and then the Lobos lost a chance at a force at second and Erin Jones came up with runners on first and second. She sent a Kaela DeBroeck offering deep into the bleachers in left field.

Nevada ended up scoring seven runs on six hits. There were no UNM errors in that frame and UNM ended the game with a single miscue. Nevada had three errors on the night and walked five Lobos.

The loss dropped UNM to 19-27 and 3-7 in Mountain play. Nevada raised its record to 26-19 and 5-6 in league play.

The Lobos had seven hits Friday night at Lobo Field and Nevada answered with 13 hits and nine RBIs. DeBroeck picked up the loss and dropped to 6-8 on the year. She struck out four and walked two in 4.1 innings. Kari Gutierrez came on in relief.

The Lobos had no players with more than one hit and got their seven hits from seven Lobos. Rimmer and Tellez each had two RBIs.

"Our pitching has to be tougher and not give up big hits when they get on base," said Beach. "Nevada is a good offensive team and we have to come out Saturday and play great defense and not make any mistakes pitching. We need to tighten a few things up."