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Saturday, December 20, 2014

There’s no place like home

UNM wins 5 of 6 games at the Lobo Classic

021813_softbweb_as
By Aaron Sweet / New Mexico Daily Lobo

UNM softball players celebrate after scoring a run versus Central Michigan University on Sunday. Freshman pitcher Lauren Soles threw a
no-hitter against the Chippewas in the team’s 4-0 win.

sports@dailylobo.com
@cnaranjo7

The only thing that could stop Lauren Soles’ pitching dominance on Sunday afternoon was a scheduled flight time.

The left-handed freshman pitcher garnered her second collegiate win with a five-inning, no-hitter performance against Central Michigan University during the UNM Lobo Classic on Sunday.

The final game of the invite was shortened to five innings because the Chippewas had planned to finish the tournament by 3:15 p.m. to make their flight home on time. Soles helped UNM (5-8) thump CMU by a score of 4-0.

The left-hander faced 16 batters and delivered six strikeouts in five innings of work. On Saturday, Soles earned her first collegiate win with a 3-1 triumph against Bradley.

“To have my first collegiate win and my first no-hitter in the same weekend was surprising to me,” she said. “What worked for me was knowing that my team was behind me.”

Head coach Erica Beach said Soles’ outing provided a lift to the team that will continue.

“Lauren stepped up. She’s a high-level pitcher with a great off-speed pitch,” Beach said. “There was only one batter she did not throw a first-pitch strike to. She’s continuing to grow every weekend.”

Before Soles threw her no-hitter, the Lobos beat Indiana University- Purdue University Fort Wayne 1-0 in extra innings on Sunday.

The first seven innings provided zero runs from both squads. The tiebreaker rule came into play starting in the eighth inning, which meant that each team’s last out would start on second base at the beginning of the inning.

The Lobos entered the bottom half of the eighth with senior outfielder Sheryl Guillermo on second. Junior infielder Jordan Sjostrand put Guillermo to third base following a sacrifice bunt. The Mastodons elected to walk Mariah Rimmer on the next at bat.

Senior infielder Kaity Ingram then drove a ball to deep right field to deliver Guillermo home for the walk-off win. Ingram said the game-winning hit was a gratifying moment in her career.

“It’s exciting. Being a senior leader on the team, I just wanted to come up big for everyone,” she said. “The pitch surprised me but I just turned on it and got a good hit.”

Freshman pitcher Lisa Rodrigues contributed eight innings with seven hits, four strikeouts and zero runs allowed.

Beach said she hopes the weekend propels the team for the games to come.

“This weekend was fantastic. It was a great time to be at home, collect wins and settle in,” Beach said. “I feel confident in saying that this will give us momentum heading into our future games.”

On Friday, UNM defeated Hampton University 11-3. Later that night, New Mexico defeated CMU 4-1. The Lobos were handed their only defeat of the invite on Saturday when they lost to Hampton 7-2. New Mexico came back with a 3-1 victory against Bradley later that day.