Lobos Extend Win Streak to Seven Games Behind Sweep of UCSB
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— The trip to Santa Barbara and the South Coast Invitational has started off well for the Lobo softball team, with the Lobos sweeping the host UCSB Gauchos on Thursday behind five home runs and 14 runs.
Freshman Emma Bramson was nearly unstoppable in her return to California, with the Valencia, Calif., native hitting three home runs and a double, and accounting for six RBI between the two games. The infielder had five hits total on the day, finishing with a .556 batting average and on-base percentage, and a 1.667 slugging percentage.
Andrea Howard added to her season total with two home runs, one in each game, and tallied four RBI and a 1.600 slugging percentage. Howard was also walked four times, giving her a .667 on-base percentage. Howard now has seven home runs on the season and 36 in her career, placing her third all-time and four away from the program record.
In the circle, Emma Guindon led the way with 8.1 innings, striking out six while walking one. Amber Linton threw 4.1 innings and struck out five hitters while walking one, and Ashlyn Roberts earned the win in relief in game two with 1.1 innings and allowed just one hit.
With the win, the Lobos improve to 12-3 on the season and have won their last seven games, a winning streak that hasn’t been done since 2012, when the Lobos started off 9-0 on the season.
As has been the case in most games this season, New Mexico struck first in game one, getting out to a 2-0 lead on a two-run home run to center by Howard after Ashley Archuleta led off the game with a four-pitch walk.
Getting the start, Guindon started strong, not allowing a baserunner the first two innings and not allowing a hit until the fifth inning. By that point, however, the Lobos had already built a 3-0 lead with Bramson hitting a solo home run to left in the top of the fifth.
Guindon started the seventh and recorded the first out before Linton replaced her with runners on first and second. Linton got the second out on a looking strikeout, but the Gauchos got on the board on the next at-bat with a single up the middle to score the runner from second. A hit-by-pitch extended the game and load the bases and put the tying run on second, but a grounder to Briana Martinez at shortstop ended the threat with the Lobos victorious 3-1.
Guindon went 6.1 innings with three hits allowed, one run, five strikeouts and a walk to get the win and improve to 6-1 on the season, while Linton earned her third save of the season behind 0.2 innings of work, allowing one hit and striking out one.
Unlike game one, game two was an offensive game, with the Lobos scoring seven runs in the final two innings and UCSB scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh, with the Lobos prevailing 11-7.
The 11 runs are the most runs scored by New Mexico this season, with the Lobos doing it on eight hits.
UNM again was the first to get on the scoreboard, which started with Taryn Young leading off the second inning with a walk following a seven-pitch at-bat. Young stole second to move into scoring position and a sacrifice bunt by Martinez and Reyan Tuck sacrifice fly brought her in.
The Lobos added to their lead in the third with another two-run home run by Howard, followed immediately by a solo home run by Bramson.
UCSB got a run back in the bottom of the third and made it a one-run game in the fourth, with the Lobos limiting the damage in the fourth by getting out of the inning on a fly ball to center with runners on second and third.
There was a stalemate in the fifth with neither team able to bring baserunners around, but the Lobos added some insurance runs in the sixth courtesy of patience at the plate.
Peyton Robinson led off with a walk followed by another walk for Archuleta, with both runners advancing a base on a wild pitch. Leslie Romero brought in Robinson on a sacrifice fly to left, Howard was intentionally walked and Young walked to load the bases. Martinez continued the streak of walks to bring in another run for the second run of the inning and the 6-3 lead. The Lobos scored two runs on zero hits in the inning, reaching base on five walks.
UCSB put two runners on in the bottom of the sixth but Guindon got out of It on two fly balls to Robinson in left.
UNM continued to add runs in the seventh, scoring five runs on four hits and a two-out rally.
Robinson reached on a bunt single and Romero hit a two-out single to center. The Gauchos elected to walk Howard to load the bases, and Bramson delivered with a home run on a 1-2 count that made it 10-3 Lobos. Young kept the inning going with a walk, her third of the game, and Martinez followed suit with a walk of her own, her fourth of the game. Tuck singled through the left side to score Young for the final Lobo run.
UCSB went on a rally of its own in the bottom of the seventh, scoring four runs on six hits before a grounder back to the pitcher closed the game.
The Lobos ended up drawing 14 walks in the game, with Young and Howard each walking three times, Martinez four times, Archuleta twice and Tuck and Robinson once. The 14 walks are the second-most in program history in at least the last 16 years and Martinez’s four are tied for the most walks in a single game in that same timespan.
UNM used three pitchers in the win, with Linton getting the start and going 3.2 innings with four strikeouts, one walk, five hits allowed and three runs allowed (two earned). Roberts entered to pitch an effective 1.1 innings with one hit allowed to earn the win and Guindon closed the final 2.0 innings.
UNM returns to the field for two more on Friday, starting with Wagner at 10:30 a.m. MT and Santa Clara at 3 p.m. MT.