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Young Homers Again but Error Proves Costly for Lobos in Loss

RENO, Nev.—For the second-straight game, Taryn Young provided the offense for the Lobo softball team, delivering with a three-run home run in the third inning, but also for the second-straight game the Wolf Pack capitalized on an error to take the lead and held on for the 6-5 final.

The Lobos put pressure on the Nevada starting pitcher Ellie Garcia early with a leadoff walk by Ashley Archuleta and an intentional walk for Andrea Howard to put the first two batters on. Briana Martinez moved them both over on a sacrifice bunt and Young was walked to load the bases, forcing an early pitching change for the home team.

Emma Bramson put the ball in play, hitting it towards the second baseman with the only play being at second for the first run of the game as Archuleta scored. However, the Lobos couldn’t push any more runs across, scoring one run and leaving two on base, all coming without a hit.

Nevada answered in its half of the inning to tie the game with aggressive running on the base paths to push a run across on a double steal before Lobo starter Amber Linton got out of the inning with the Wolf Pack leaving two on base.

After both teams were retired in order in the second, the Lobos broke the tie in the top of the third with Archuleta leading off the inning with a walk, taking second on the play as the ball got away from the Nevada catcher. Howard was again intentionally walked and after Martinez’s at-bat, Young hit her third home run of the series, and sixth of the season, on a deep shot to center to put the Lobos ahead 4-1.  Young’s home run was the first hit of the game for the Lobos.

UNM worked around a one-out single in the bottom of the third to maintain the lead, but the Wolf Pack took the lead in the bottom of the fourth with five runs, aided by a Lobo error. After Nevada had its leadoff hitter reach on a walk, the Lobos attempted to get the lead runner on a hit to Bramson at short with the throw not caught at second to put the first two hitters on. A walk on a full count loaded the bases, before Linton struck out the next two hitters. Pinch hitting for Nevada, Charli McLendon hit a double to the gap in right center, clearing the bases and tying the game at four.

Following a Lobo pitching change, Nevada hit a two-run home run to take the lead.

UNM had a chance to answer in the fifth with Martinez hitting a single through the right side of the infield and Young drawing her second walk of the game, with both advancing into scoring position on a Bramson’s grounder to second. However, the Lobos were unable to cut into the deficit.

The Lobos again had an opportunity in the sixth with Reyan Tuck leading off with a single up the middle after fouling off four pitches in her at-bat and Savana Martinez followed up with a single through the right side. A sacrifice bunt by Peyton Robinson put two more in scoring position with one out and Archuleta walked to load the bases for Howard. While it wasn’t intentional this time, Howard was again walked to bring in Tuck to make it a one-run game with bases still loaded.

A fielder’s choice resulted in the second out at the plate and a strikeout left the bases loaded and the Lobos still trailing.

Emma Guindon retired the side in order in the bottom of the sixth to keep it a one-run game and the Lobos had the tying run reach base on a one-out single. However, a double play on the next at-bat ended the game with the Lobos unable to find the tying run.

UNM left a total of eight runners on base, five of which came in two of the final three innings. The Lobos drew nine walks in the game, three each for Archuleta and Howard and two for Young, and had five hits in the game with five different players recording a hit.

The Lobos (24-19, 4-10 MW) conclude the series with the Wolf Pack on Sunday at noon PT/ 1 p.m. MT.