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Home Runs Not Enough as Lobos Drop Game to Bulldogs in Extra Innings

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The Lobo softball team hit four home runs on Thursday night against Fresno State, the most since UNM hit four against Utah State in 2017, but it wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs won in extra innings, 7-6.

Briana Martinez led the way with two home runs, going 2-for-4 on the night, with Taryn Young and Andrea Howard each hitting two-run home runs. Home runs accounted for four of UNM’s six hits in the game.

Howard was intentionally walked three times in the game, with Young making the Bulldogs pay for the second free pass with a home run to center in the third to put UNM in front 2-1.

Fresno State answered to reclaim the lead in the top of the fourth, taking advantage of two, two out walks on full counts that loaded the bases followed by a hit back up the middle that reached the outfield to score two. A wild pitch and single to center field plated two more runs for the 5-2 Bulldog lead.

Martinez got a run back on a leadoff home run that cleared the wall in left center in the bottom of the inning, and on the first (and only) at-bat that the Bulldogs pitched to Howard, the Lobo outfielder hit a two-run home run over the deepest part of the park in center field to tie the game at five.

The Bulldogs left two runners on in the sixth and one in the seventh to set up the Lobos for the bottom of the seventh in the 5-5 tie. Peyton Robinson led off with a walk and Howard was intentionally walked with two outs to put the winning run at second. However, with the Bulldogs playing shallow in the outfield, Young flied out to shallow left to send the game to extra innings.

Fresno State scored two runs in the top of the eighth, set up by a walk, a sacrifice bunt, an intentional walk and a grounder to second that put two runners in scoring position. The Bulldogs went ahead on a double off the scoreboard in left field that scored both runners for the 7-5 lead.

Martinez made it a one-run game with a solo home run to center with one out, and Sydney Broderick reached on an infield single, beating out the throw to first to put the tying run on, but the Lobos were unable to tie the game to extend the game.

Emma Guindon started the game before Amber Linton entered in the second, with the sophomore pitching 6.0 innings before Guindon returned to the circle to start the eighth.

Following Thursday’s game, Howard now has 15 home runs this season, tied for the third-most in a single season in program history. She also has 45 RBI, tied for the sixth-most in a single season in program history, and 109 total bases, eighth in program history for a single season. Also of note, Howard has been intentionally walked nine times in her career, passing Mariah Rimmer for the most in program history (Rimmer had six), and also surpassed Rimmer in career total bases with her home run, giving the Lobo 363.

Martinez now has six home runs this season, while Young hit her third home run of the season.

Game two in the series is set for Friday at 4 p.m.