Howard Hits Home Run as Lobos Fall to Badgers
ST. GEORGE, Utah — Lobo outfielder Andrea Howard provided a spark for New Mexico on Sunday morning with a game-tying, three-run home run, but it wasn’t enough as the Lobos dropped their final game of the Dixie State Tournament to the Wisconsin Badgers 6-3.
Howard’s home run in the bottom of the third was her team-high 10th home run of the season and her 39th career home run, tying Stefanie Carramusa for the program record, with the New Mexico native finishing 2-for-3 at the plate while also drawing the lone Lobo walk of the game.
UNM had three players finish with two hits in the game with Ashley Archuleta and Peyton Robinson each tallying two hits. Savana Martinez continued to have a hot bat, hitting a double for UNM’s first hit of the game.
The Badgers took the early lead with a leadoff double and single up the middle and added a run in both the second and third for the 3-0 lead. UNM answered in the bottom of the third, led by a one-out double to the gap by Martinez, her second double in as many days, and Robinson executed a perfect bunt to put runners on the corners. With two outs and facing a 3-2 count, Howard evened the score with a home run to left center. UNM continued the two out rally with consecutive singles to the outfield by Archuleta and Taryn Young to put another runner in scoring position, but the Lobos were unable to add to their run total.
However, the tie score was short lived as Wisconsin put two runs on the board in the top of the fourth to retake the lead. The Lobos had a chance to respond with two runners reaching in the bottom of the fifth with a Robinson single and Howard walk, although both were left stranded.
A leadoff home run in the sixth by the Badgers pushed the deficit to three, limiting further runs by a spectacular grab by Robinson in left for the third out to leave the bases loaded.
Down to its final out, Howard singled to right field and Archuleta singled up the middle to bring the tying run to the plate, however, the rally fell short as the final out was recorded.
Emma Guindon got the start in the circle, throwing 3.1 innings and striking out three, walking two and allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits. Amber Linton entered in relief in the fourth, going 2.2 innings and striking out four, walking two and allowing two runs on four hits. Brianna Sanchez replaced Linton in relief to start the seventh and pitched a perfect inning, not allowing a baserunner to reach base.
UNM begins conference play at San José State starting March 18 and enters MW play with an 18-7 record.