Romero Leads Lobos Past Aggies with Career-High Day
LAS CRUCES, N.M.— The Lobo lineup delivered in a big way on Tuesday night at NM State, scoring a season-high 13 runs on 12 hits, led by a stellar 3-for-3 performance at that plate by Leslie Romero that led to six RBI in a commanding 13-4 win.
Tuesday’s game marked the seventh time this season that the Lobos have finished with double-digit hits and the third time this season scoring 10 or more runs.
Romero was a triple shy of the cycle, hitting a three-run home run and a bases-clearing double for a career-high six RBI, and also drew a walk. The three hits also set a career high for Romero, as did the seven total bases. The Lobos hit two, three-run home runs in the game, with Savannah Braun pinch hitting in the seventh and hitting her first career home run in almost the same spot as Romero in right field.
Taryn Young contributed multiple RBI as well, going 2-for-3 with two RBI, and also drew a walk.
Of UNM’s 12 hits, six went for extra bases with three doubles, a triple and two home runs. In addition, the Lobos drew 12 walks in the game, with Emma Bramson walking three times, Andrea Howard twice and Ashley Archuleta, Alexis Vigil, Young, Romero, Savana Martinez, Olivia Birkinshaw and Diamond Sandoval all walking once. The 12 walks were the second-highest total this season.
The Lobos were the first to score, with Peyton Robinson leading off the game with a triple to right field and Archuleta bringing her in on the next play with a grounder to the shortstop, with Robinson breaking for home on the play. However, NM State answered to tie the game in the bottom of the inning, taking advantage of a Lobo error for the unearned run.
Starting pitcher Emma Guindon got out of the inning on a popup to Briana Martinez at shortstop to keep the game tied and the bases loaded.
After Guindon retired the side in order in the second, the Lobos plated three runs on three hits courtesy of the top of the lineup. Robinson led off with a bunt, beating out the throw, and following a fielder’s choice, Howard walked and Bramson singled up the middle to lead the bases. Romero cleared the bases with a double up the middle to make it 4-1 Lobos.
The Aggies tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a single, a RBI double and a home run, scoring three runs on four hits.
Amber Linton entered to start the fourth inning, promptly retiring the side with a grounder to Bramson at third, a strikeout and a grounder to Archuleta at second.
From there, the Lobos scored nine unanswered runs, starting with a run in the fifth. Howard led off with a double to right center and Bramson and Romero followed up with a walk to load the bases with no one out. Young flied out to center to score Howard from third as the Lobos regained the lead 5-4.
Linton struck out two in the fifth and had another clean inning with a grounder to Archuleta at second, putting the Lobos quickly back at the plate.
The top of the lineup again delivered in the sixth, with Robinson reaching on another bunt and Archuleta walking. Howard grounded out to the first baseman, who tagged the bag, but heads up base running by Robinson on the play resulted in the Lobo stealing home for a run. Bramson kept the inning going with another walk and Romero delivered with a three-run home run to right to make it 9-4 UNM.
Bramson accounted for all three outs in the sixth, with two grounder and a lineout, for another quick three up, three down inning for the Lobos.
UNM added another four runs in the seventh, with pinch hitters coming through with clutch at-bats. Sandoval and Birkinshaw both walked to lead off the inning in their pinch hitting at-bats and Braun brought them home on a 2-2 count, hitting the ball over the wall in right. Bramson drew a two-out walk, as did Vigil, with Bramson taking third on the play. Young singled to second, with the Aggie infielder unable to cleanly field it as it ricocheted off her glove, reaching the outfield, allowing Bramson to score for the final run. The Lobos drew four walks in the seventh alone, scoring four runs on two hits.
NM State had two runners reach in the bottom of the inning on a single and a walk, but Linton closed the game with a final strikeout for the 13-4 Lobo victory.
Linton was masterful in relief, pitching 4.0 innings, striking out four and allowing just one hit and one walk to earn the win and improve to 9-3 on the season. Guindon struck out two and walked one in 3.0 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits.
The Lobos were 5-for-7 in the leadoff spot and 3-for-3 with runners on third. Following the win, the Lobos are 20-9 on the season, 16-0 when outhitting their opponents, 6-1 when hitting two or more home runs in a game and 10-2 when scoring in the first inning.
UNM returns home to host Utah State in a three-game series starting Friday, March 25 at 6 p.m. at Lobo Softball Field.