Head coach Erica Beach arranged the beginning of the New Mexico softball season with a sink or swim frame of mind.
“We have faced off against the best teams in the country… The experience we gained was huge,” Beach said. “I was hoping at the beginning of the season that it wouldn’t backfire, that we wouldn’t shut down as a program.”
Beach commented that she has been proud of her team’s ability to respond to the club’s record of 10-20 with a confident outlook when facing conference opponents.
UNM dropped the first two games in its Mountain West opening series against San Diego State (24-9, 2-1 MW) before responding with an 8-6 victory on Sunday, avoiding the sweep and improving to 1-2 overall in conference play.
Naomi Tellez continues to swing a scorching bat, going 3 for 3 with a home run and two RBIs, in the final game of the series.
“My goal, this year was to be more consistent,” Tellez said. “I am going in with that mentality at every bat now.”
Beach said the win was huge, particularly because it was the last game in the series.
“It was crucial to take one, especially from a team that was ranked number one in the conference,” Beach said. “For us to be able to compete and beat their ace was a big deal for our offense.”
Tellez was a big contributor in the series and leads the team in hitting with a .391 average. The sophomore’s efficiency is commendable as well accumulating 24 RBIs in 34 hits, both team highs.
The Lobos were able to take the series finale partially due to a six run second inning and never looking back from there. SDSU’s best pitcher, Andi Smith was given the boot after only throwing 1.1 innings giving up four total runs.
UNM looks to improve their conference record in Nevada this weekend.
Tellez said that the team looks to make improvements on the road, especially because of the team’s need to get going in conference play.
“We just need to have a different mentality knowing that this is conference and we have to win,” Tellez said. “We have to put aside where we are playing, just go out and play.”
Beach said that the confidence in her team stems from the matchups that they have against Nevada (18-12, 0-3 MW).
“They didn’t have as tough of a schedule as we did,” Beach said. “As long as we play our game, I think that we can take 3.”