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Lobos Win Two to Open Cardinal Classic

BEAUMONT, Texas— The New Mexico softball team went 2-0 on the opening day of the Cardinal Classic, winning 4-2 to start the day against the Ohio Bobcats and closing the day with a 2-1 win over the host Lamar Cardinals. In both games, the Lobos were the first to score and never trailed.

Peyton Robinson, Emma Bramson and Andrea Howard each recorded three hits on the day, with Howard leading the team with two RBI. Reyan Tuck, Taryn Young and Ashley Archuleta each tallied two hits between the two games with a total of 18 hits on the day compared to 10 for the opponents.

The Lobos outhit the Bobcats 10-6 in the first game with three extra base hits. Young went 2-for-3 at the plate with one RBI, Janae Cameron drove in a run and Howard went 1-for-2 at the plate with two RBI.

In the circle, the Lobos used three pitchers with Amber Linton throwing a complete game and earning a save between the two games and Emma Guindon picking up another win. As a unit, the pitchers struck out 12 hitters while walking just three.

Getting the ball to start the game, Guindon and the Lobos made quick work of the Bobcats in the first and got right to work putting a run on the board in the bottom half of the inning. Batting in the two spot, Young singled to center and scored on the next at-bat as Howard doubled to the gap in left center for an early 1-0 lead.

Guindon again retired the side in order in the top of the second and like in the first inning, the offense went back to work in the home half, plating three runs on five hits.

Robinson was the first to reach base on a single to left field to turn over the lineup. Archuleta moved her over on a single to center field and Young brought Robinson around on another single to left field, while taking second on the throw to put two runners in scoring position. Howard hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Archuleta and Cameron doubled to center field to clear the bases and score Young, making it 4-0. Bramson was the next Lobo to hit a single to the outfield, this time in right field, but Cameron was tagged out at the plate on the play to end the inning.

Ohio had its first baserunner reach on a two-out walk in the third and its first hit in the third on a single to left field to put two on, but Guindon worked out of the inning with a fly ball to Robinson in left.

The Bobcats got on the board in the top of the fourth with an infield single, a double to left field and a wild pitch that brought the runner on third home, however the Lobos limited the damage after inducing a popup to Reyan Tuck at first.

Ohio added another run in the top of the fifth, but Guindon struck out three Bobcat batters in the sixth and Linton came in for the save in the seventh. While Ohio had two runners reach to start the top of the seventh, New Mexico was able to get the necessary three outs before another runner could score, with Linton recording the third out on a called third strike.

Guindon earned the win in the game to move to 2-1 on the season, while Linton recorded her first save of the season. Brianna Sanchez pitched 1.0 inning of relief with the pitching staff striking out seven.

The second game was more of a defensive battle for the first three innings with neither team able to bring any runs across. UNM led Lamar 2-1 in hits through the first three innings and both teams leaving two runners on base.

New Mexico broke through in the top of the fourth with Howard leading off and reaching base on an error by the Lamar third baseman. Howard advanced to second on a wild pitch and Bramson came through with a hit back up the middle to score Howard for the first run of the game. After Briana Martinez reached on a fielder’s choice, consecutive singles to the outfield by Tuck and Leslie Romero scored Martinez. Another single to the outfield by Robinson loaded the bases with two outs and after the Cardinals went to the bullpen for a pitching change, the Lobos were unable to keep the inning going. However, the Lobos tallied four hits in the inning and with Linton in the circle, would be all the runs UNM would need.

Lamar tried to answer in the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back singles, and after a sacrifice bunt had two runners in scoring position. Linton and the Lobo defense held tough and a grounder to Martinez at shortstop and a strikeout on three-straight pitches by Linton kept the Cardinals scoreless.

The Cardinals did score a run in the fifth, but Linton retired the side in the sixth to head to the seventh with a one-run lead. The Lobos were unable to generate any runs in the top of the inning, although the Lobos did have a runner reach second on a Robinson single and stolen base. Lamar had its leadoff hitter reach on an error to start the inning, but Linton struck out the next batter and was able to get the second out at second on a fielder’s choice and a grounder to Martinez at shortstop for the final out.

UNM outhit Lamar 8-4 in the game, led by two hits from Howard and Robinson. In the circle, Linton struck out five while not walking a batter and threw 69 strikes on 104 pitches to move to 2-1 on the season.

Up next: The Lobos (4-2) return for two games on Saturday, starting with a rematch with Lamar at 12:30 p.m. MT and against Creighton at 5:30 p.m. MT.