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Archuleta Leads Lobos Past Bulldogs to Even Series

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The Lobo softball team got the upperhand on another close battle with Fresno State on Friday afternoon, scoring the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth and closing out the seventh for the 6-5 win to even the series.

Ashley Archuleta was the player of the game at the plate for UNM, hitting a three-run home run and a solo home run on consecutive plate appearances for the first and second collegiate home runs for the New Mexico native. It is also the second time in the series that a Lobo has hit two home runs in a game, joining Briana Martinez who hit two Thursday, and the fifth time this season that a Lobo has hit two home runs in a game.

As a team, the Lobos have hit six home runs in the two games in the series.

Reyan Tuck hit a career-high two doubles in the game, finishing 2-for-3 at the plate and adding a RBI, and Martinez brought in the go-ahead run to finish 2-for-3 at the plate and with one RBI as well.

Andrea Howard was intentionally walked four times, tying her career high in walks, with Howard now up to a team-high 29 walks this season, 11 of which have been intentional.

In the circle, UNM went with two pitchers in the game, with starter Amber Linton going 5.0 innings and striking out five and Emma Guindon closing the last two innings and striking out three and not allowing a walk or run.

After Linton struck out the side in the top of the second, the Lobos were the first to get on the board in the bottom of the inning, taking advantage of a catcher’s interference to extend the inning.

Peyton Robinson grounded out the second on what would have been the third out, but a discussion by the umpire crew resulted in a catcher’s interference being called and allowing Robinson to take first and the inning to continue. Turning over the lineup, Archuleta fell behind 0-2 in the count, took the next pitch for a ball, and made contact on the next delivery, sending it over the scoreboard in right field to make it 3-0 in favor of the Lobos.

Linton kept the Bulldogs off the board in the top of the third, working around the first two Bulldogs reaching base on a single and bunt with a strikeout, a grounder back to the pitcher and a grounder to Archuleta at second.

UNM added another run in the third with a two-out rally that started with an Emma Bramson single through the right side. Tuck turned on the second pitch she saw, hitting it to the gap in left center beyond the left fielder trying to track it down, and allowed Bramson to score from first.

Fresno State cut the lead in half in the four on a two-run home run to center, but the Lobos responded to get a run back in the bottom half on another Archuleta home run to the bleachers in right field to put UNM up 5-2.

However, the Bulldogs started off the fifth with the first three batters reaching base to load the bases, with a fielder’s choice bringing in a run, as the visitors ultimately tied the game in the inning with a single to left field that scored a run and a sacrifice fly.

The score held through the bottom of the fifth and top of the sixth, with Fresno State leaving two in scoring position after Guindon recorded the third out on a swinging strikeout on a full count.

Robinson started off the sixth with a walk following a full count, and two at-bats later, Howard was intentionally walked to move Robinson into scoring position. Martinez, hitting in the three-spot in the game, delivered with a single through the right side on a 1-2 pitch as Robinson was waved around and scored easily to give UNM back the lead.

Guindon struck out the first batter in the top of the seventh and a pop up to Bramson at short, with the freshman making an over-the-shoulder catch, provided quick two outs. However, Fresno State singled on the next at-bat, with Archuleta diving to her left to keep the ball in the infield and barely missed throwing the runner out at first. On the following at-bat, the Bulldogs hit a single to right center with the runner on first moving all the way around to third. After a brief conference in the circle, a fly ball to Robinson in left on the first pitch ended the game with the Lobos victorious.

The Lobos (23-17, 3-8 MW) close out the series with the Bulldogs on Saturday at 11 a.m.