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Lobos Defeat Bulldogs Saturday to Win Series

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— After the New Mexico softball team relied on home run hitting the first two games of the series against Fresno State, extra-base hits proved to be the difference on Saturday as the Lobos won 4-1 to take the series.

In doing so, the Lobos achieved something that hadn’t been done since before the players on the roster were born, winning a series against Fresno State for the first time since 1993. It is just the second time in program history that the Lobos have won a series against the Bulldogs.

Briana Martinez again came up clutch with a two-run double in the fifth and Emma Bramson returned to her power hitting ways with a double, with Leslie Romero following Bramson’s at-bat up with a double of her own for a run.

Emma Guindon dominated in the circle, throwing her fifth complete game of the season, allowing just one run on five hits, striking out five. Of her 87 pitches in the game, 54 went for strikes.

Guindon didn’t allow a hit in the first three innings, with just one baserunner reaching base on a hit-by-pitch in the second.

Like in Friday’s game with the Bulldogs, the Lobos were the first to get on the board in the second inning, with Bramson and Romero hitting consecutive doubles to start the home half. Bramson’s nearly missed clearing the wall, hitting off the top of the wall in left center for the standup double, while Romero went the opposite way, with the ball falling just out of the reach of the centerfielder in right center to score Bramson.

The Bulldogs threatened in the fourth with a one-out single followed by a walk, but the defense came through with a flyout to Andrea Howard in center and a grounder to Guindon back in the circle for the out at first.

With the Lobos still leading 1-0 heading into the fifth, Fresno State loaded the bases in the fifth with two outs on a single to right, a walk and a bunt single, but Reyan Tuck ended the inning on a grounder to first to keep the Lobos in front.

UNM had its best offensive production in the fifth inning with Peyton Robinson leading off with a hit over the head of the second baseman and tagged on a deep fly ball to left field by Ashley Archuleta.  Howard was intentionally walked (for the second time in the game and ninth time in the three-game series) and Martinez made Fresno State pay for it with a double down the left-field line to score both runners for the 3-0 lead.  Taryn Young kept the momentum with a hit to shallow center that dropped in to move Martinez over to third and after Fresno State made a pitching change, stole second to put another runner in scoring position.

Bramson flied out to right, but was deep enough to allow Martinez to tag from third for the third run of the inning. UNM scored three runs on three hits in the inning.

With a 4-0 lead, Guindon worked around a leadoff single in the sixth, striking out back-to-back batters before a grounder to Martinez at third led to the third out of the inning. Guindon struck out the leadoff hitter in the seventh before the Bulldogs ended the shutout on a solo home run. Guindon responded to strike out the next batter for the second out and Robinson made a diving grab in left to end the game and seal the win.

UNM won its first Mountain West series of the season with the win and improved to 24-17 on the season and 4-8 in the conference.

The Lobos head back on the road for their next conference series to face Nevada, with the three-game series starting on Friday, April 22.