Howard Homers Twice as Lobos Split with BYU Thursday
PROVO, Utah— Andrea Howard was the player of the game in game one against the BYU Cougars, going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a two-RBI single in the second, a two-run home run in the fourth and a solo home run in the sixth, while also walking in her first plate appearance.
Amber Linton limited the Cougar bats to three runs, pitching her fifth complete game of the season in the 8-3 win and improved to 10-6 on the season.
With the win in game one, the Lobos snapped BYU’s three-game win streak while snapping their three-game losing streak.
UNM got back to its identity of putting pressure on the opponent early, scoring two runs in its first at-bats of the game, benefitting from two BYU errors.
Peyton Robinson reached on an error and Ashley Archuleta reached on a fielder’s choice with a throwing error allowing Robinson to take third. Howard walked to load the bases and the Lobos plated the first run of the game on the following at-bat with Taryn Young hitting a ball to centerfield, which allowed Robinson to tag from third and Archuleta to tag to third. Emma Bramson plated the second run on a single that landed in left field to score Archuleta.
The Lobos added three more runs in the second with the top of the lineup again delivering. Reyan Tuck led off with an infield single, beating out the throw to first and advanced to second on the next at-bat. Briana Martinez walked to put runners on first and second as the lineup turned over, with Robinson driving in Tuck on a hit back up the middle for the 3-0 Lobo lead.
With two outs and runners on second and third, Howard cleared the bases with a two-RBI single.
BYU got two runs back in the bottom half of the second, but the Lobos matched that with two runs in the fourth to restore the five-run lead. Archuleta drew a two-out walk following a full count and Howard drove the 0-1 pitch over the wall in right for the 7-2 Lobo lead.
The Cougars added a final run in the bottom of the fifth, with the Lobos quickly answering in the top of the sixth on a no-doubt home run by Howard to lead off the top of the sixth.
Linton and the Lobos retired the side in order in the sixth and the seventh to take the first game, 8-3.
Robinson, Young and Bramson were all credited with one RBI in the game to go with Howard’s five runs-batted-in, which tied her career high. It was also the second time this season that Howard has hit two home runs in a game and the fifth time doing so in her career. Adding to Howard’s night, the three hits tied her career high, the seventh time in her career and third time this season that the outfielder has recorded three hits in a game. It was also Howard’s 14th game this season with multiple RBI and 14th game with multiple hits.
The Lobo outfielder now has 13 home runs this season, tying her for first in the Mountain West, as well as is tied for the MW lead in runs batted in with 42 and leads the MW with 97 total bases and 45 hits.
In the second game, the Cougars were the first to get on the scoreboard and quickly put some distance between the Lobos. BYU scored a run in the second, five runs in the third inning and six runs in the fourth to put the run-rule into play.
While errors plagued the Cougars in the first game, errors were the downfall for the Lobos in the second game, committing three errors that led to 11 unearned runs for BYU.
BYU scored its first run on two hits in the second, with the Lobos leaving the tying run on second in the top of the third following a two-out double by Martinez.
The Cougars had just one hit in the third inning, a grand slam, but scored five runs off of it, with the Cougars taking advantage of an error and two walks in the inning for the 6-0 lead.
The Lobos got on the board on an Olivia Birkinshaw walk in which ball four got away from the BYU catcher, allowing Archuleta to come home to break the shutout. Archuleta was also the first Lobo to register a hit in the game on a leadoff single to right, advancing to second on a wild pitch. Howard laid down a bunt to put runners on the corners, but the Lobos couldn’t capitalize on the first two batters reaching base until Birkinshaw’s at-bat three at-bats later. Two runners were left on base, preventing the Lobos from chipping away further at the deficit.
BYU scored six runs on three hits and two errors in the fourth and the Lobos were unable to extend the game in the fifth as the game ended in a 12-1 final.
UNM finished with just three hits in the second game, with one each by Archuleta, Howard and Martinez.
Emma Guindon went 3.2 innings in the loss, while Ashlyn Roberts pitched 0.1 innings in relief.
UNM now stands at 21-13 on the season and closes out the series with BYU on Friday at 1 p.m. with the game streamed on BYUtv.