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Lobos Battle Top-Ranked Alabama and Arizona to Conclude Candrea Classic

TUCSON, Ariz.— The Lobo softball team battled two top-10 teams on Sunday to conclude the Candrea Classic, falling 8-3 to No. 2 Alabama and taking No. 9 Arizona to the brink in a 1-0 final.

The three runs scored by UNM were the most runs scored against the Crimson Tide in the Candrea Classic and was just the second team to score a run against Alabama (Oregon State scored one). In addition, UNM had six hits in the game, the most hits allowed by Alabama on the weekend.

New Mexico had eight hits on the day, led by Taryn Young with two that included a home run, and six players that recorded one. In addition to Young, freshman Olivia Birkinshaw recorded an extra-base hit with a double against Arizona.

In the circle, Emma Guindon threw another stellar game with a complete game against the Wildcats, allowing just one run and striking out two, while Ashlyn Roberts threw 5.0 innings of relief to start the day against Alabama, striking out two as well. Samantha Fohrman made her Lobo debut against the Crimson Tide, throwing 1.0 inning and allowing one run on one hit.

The Crimson Tide got out to an early lead with four runs in the bottom half of the first inning, with Roberts replacing starter Amber Linton after the first four batters. Roberts settled in as the game progressed, with a clean inning in the second and retired the side in order in the third.

Alabama tacked on three more runs in the fourth before the Lobos got on the board in the top of the sixth on a solo home run to left by Young. Young also had a single in the third for UNM’s first hit of the game.

Trailing 8-1 in the top of the seventh, the Lobos continued to battle, scoring two runs. Peyton Robinson led off the inning with a single through the right side followed by a single by Andrea Howard. Leslie Romero advanced both runners on her at-bat and Emma Bramson brought the first run in on a single through the right side. A sacrifice fly to center by Briana Martinez allowed Howard to tag for the second run and for the final runs of the game.

Shortly after the conclusion of the Alabama game, the Lobos were back in the batter’s box against the Wildcats.

Neither team was able to get any runs across in the first two innings, although both teams had their opportunities with runners in scoring position in the first. Ashley Archuleta recorded the first hit of the game by either team in the third, but it was Arizona who broke the scoreless game in the bottom of the third after a leadoff single, a sacrifice bunt, an infield single and a fielder’s choice.

Good defense by Guindon and the Lobos in the fourth kept the game at 1-0 with Guindon catching a liner back to the pitcher to end the inning and leave two runners in scoring position. The defense continued in the sixth, as after Guindon opened the sixth inning with a strikeout, Howard made a grab at the warning track to rob a home run or perhaps extra bases.

Birkinshaw provided one last opportunity for the Lobos with a leadoff double to left center to start the seventh inning, which fell short as the Lobos were unable to bring her in, falling 1-0.

The Lobos head to the Lamar Invitational next Friday for five games, starting with Ohio on Feb. 18 at 11:30 a.m. MT.