Lobos Use Big Innings to Take Two on Friday
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— The storyline for most games this season have been the Lobo softball team scoring early and often to win games, but on Friday, the Lobos trailed in both games against Wagner and Santa Clara and put together big innings to emerge victorious in both.
New Mexico opened Friday with a 5-2 win over Wagner College, scoring four runs in the third inning in the eventual 5-2 win, and rallied for five runs on five hits in the sixth against Santa Clara, edging out the Broncos 7-6 to win its ninth-straight win. The last time the Lobos have won nine games in a row was back in 2012, when the Lobos opened the season 9-0.
The Lobos were once again led by Andrea Howard at the plate, who delivered three RBI on the day with three hits that included two doubles. Leslie Romero, Diamond Sandoval and Ashley Archuleta each drove in two RBI between the two games, with Romero recording three hits.
In the circle, the Lobos used four pitchers with Samantha Fohrman earning her first win as a Lobo and Amber Linton picking up a win against Santa Clara. Emma Guindon earned the save against Wagner for her efforts and Brianna Sanchez pitched 2.1 innings against Santa Clara to relieve Linton.
The Lobos were the first to reach base after Archuleta singled through the right side for the first hit of the game in the bottom of the first, and Romero sacrificed her over with a bunt. However, the freshman was left on base. The Seahawks were the first to get on the board with a leadoff single and double down the left-field line that scored the runner. A ground ball moved the runner to third and a bunt single scored the second run of the inning.
After both teams were retired in order in the bottom of the second and top of the third, New Mexico broke through in the bottom of the third with four runs on five hits, led by the top of the order and all with two outs.
Archuleta got it started, reaching on an error by Wagner, and moved all the way around to third on a Romero single to right center and an error by the Seahawk outfielder. Howard brought both runners in on a double to center and Emma Bramson scored Howard on a double to left center on the following at-bat. Taryn Young continued the rally with a single up the middle to score Bramson for the 4-2 Lobo lead.
Fohrman retired the side in order in the fourth and fifth, and while the Lobos loaded the bases in their half of the inning in the fourth, were unable to add any more runs to the board.
Guindon replaced Fohrman to start the sixth, allowing two hits to put runners on the corners, but worked around it with two strikeouts and a line out to Briana Martinez at shortstop.
UNM added an insurance run in the sixth with Aysiah Gonzalez leading off with a double to right center for her first collegiate hit. Sandoval entered to pinch run for her, and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Peyton Robinson and scored on a Romero single up the middle for the final run.
Holding a 5-2 lead, Guindon struck out the side to secure the win.
Howard went 2-for-3 in the game, finishing with two RBI, while Romero went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Bramson and Young each accounted for an RBI.
Fohrman went 5.0 innings for the win, striking out one and not allowing any walks, while Guindon closed with 2.0 innings and struck out five hitters while not allowing any walks or any runs on two hits.
Like in the first game, the opponent scored first, with Santa Clara getting on the board with a run in the first.
However, the Lobos responded win the top of the second, scoring two runs on three hits. Martine reached base on an infield single, and moved all the way around to third on a fielder’s choice and error on Tuck’s at-bat. Stepping into the lineup as the designated player, Janae Cameron again came through with a single up the middle to score Martinez to tie the game. Archuleta put the Lobos in front two at-bats later on a single to the shortstop that scored Tuck.
The Broncos matched that in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead at 3-2, and added two more runs in the fourth inning.
UNM rallied in the top of the sixth with five runs on five hits, starting with a Young triple. Consecutive doubles by Martinez and pinch hitter Sandoval led to two runs, with Sandoval scoring both runners to make it a one-run game. Cameron drew a walk following a full count and Robinson laid down a bunt to load the bases. Archuleta scored Sandoval on a fielder’s choice and Romero hit a sacrifice fly to right to score pinch runner Alexis Vigil. Howard brought in the final runner of the inning on a double to left field for the 7-5 Lobo lead.
SCU answered with a run in the bottom of the inning but Linton got the first two hitters in the bottom of the seventh out on a popup to Archuleta at second and a grounder to Archuleta. The Broncos got the tying run on with a hit-by-pitch and the go-ahead run on with a walk, but Linton got the final out on a strikeout for the Lobo win.
Archuleta went 1-for-4 in the game with two RBI, Martinez went 2-for-3 and Sandoval recorded 2 RBI on her lone plate appearance. The Lobos had four extra-base hits in the game and 10 hits overall.
Linton totaled 4.2 innings in the circle with four strikeouts and three walks, while Sanchez provided 2.1 innings of relief and struck out two and not allowing a walk.
The Lobos (14-3) conclude the South Coast Invitational with another game against Santa Clara at 10:30 a.m. MT Saturday.