Open Announce

Linton Leads Lobos to Power Five Win to Open Season

TUCSON, Ariz.— In her first game as a Lobo, sophomore pitcher Amber Linton pitched a masterful complete game, finishing with 10 strikeouts to just one walk, as New Mexico opened the season with a 3-2 victory over Oregon State.

Of the 10 strikeouts, half came in the final nine outs, with three in the seventh as the Lobos held a one-run lead.

The last time a Lobo pitcher recorded double-digit strikeouts was in 2019, with the 10 strikeouts only the third time in the last nine years that a Lobo has struck out 10 or more batters.

While the Lobos may have been outhit 6-5 in the contest, the UNM bats delivered in key moments, with Leslie Romero going 2-for-2 at the bottom of the lineup with one RBI, and the Lobos leading for the entirety of the game.

Andrea Howard and Reyan Tuck both went 1-for-3 with one RBI apiece, and Ashley Archuleta recorded her first collegiate hit to round out the Lobo hits.

Designated as the home team, Linton and the Lobos took the field first with the right-handed pitcher opening the game with a three-pitch strikeout and worked around a single to strike out the next two batters to get out of the inning.

The Lobos got on the board in the bottom of the second with freshman Olivia Birkinshaw reaching base on a hit-by-pitch to start the inning. After a fielder’s choice by fellow freshman Emma Bramson that allowed both runners to reach safely, Tuck delivered the first run of the game, and the season, with a bloop single to right field that brought Birkinshaw around to score with Bramson advancing to third.

Romero followed up two at-bats later with an infield single in which Bramson scored to make it 2-0 UNM.

Following a 1-2-3 inning for Linton in the third and a scoreless frame in the bottom of the inning, the Beavers threatened in the top of the fourth. With runners on first and third and one out, Linton fielded a grounder back to the circle and threw to third to get the runner attempting to go back to third. A grounder to Bramson at third ended the inning with two more Beavers stranded and the 2-0 Lobo lead in tact.

Linton and the Lobo defense produced another clean inning in the fifth and in the home half of the inning, the Lobos added an important insurance run, with Howard driving in Peyton Robinson on a single to right.

Oregon State answered with a two-run home run in the top of the sixth, but Linton retired the next hitter on an unassisted grounder to Tuck at first.

Two Beaver batters reached base at the top of the seventh, but Linton closed with three strikeouts to close the door for the 3-2 Lobo win.

UNM (1-0) returns to the field Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. MT against Southern Utah with the game streaming on FloSoftball (subscription required).