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Monday, December 22, 2014

Softball: Lobos drop two games each in past three series

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By Di Linh Hoang / New Mexico Daily Lobo

UNLV outfielder Pauline Monreal catches a fly ball during a game against UNM at Lobo Field on Saturday.

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The New Mexico softball team is still in search of winning a series in conference play.

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New Mexico infielder Michala Erickson slides into home plate during the game against UNLV at Lobo Field on Saturday. The Lobos lost to the Rebels 12-9.

By Di Linh Hoang / New Mexico Daily Lobo

Despite having won the opening game of the past three series, UNM has been unable to obtain more than one win against a conference opponent.

“We’re putting a lot of runs up,” head coach Erica Beach said. “We’re just giving up a lot of runs. They’re making us pay for a lot of our mistakes.”

UNM jumped out to a 1-0 series lead against the UNLV Rebels (19-24, 9-6 MW) after a walk-off single from Brandi Heimburg in the bottom of the seventh gave the Lobos an 11-10 victory on Thursday.

However, in the second game on Friday, UNM couldn’t match UNLV’s offensive production losing 10-2.

In the rubber match of the series, the Lobos kept pace with the Rebels but couldn’t muster up quite enough runs to take the final game of the series, losing 12-9.

The Lobos’ first baseman, Jordan Sjostrand picked up her first homer of the season in the second inning to put the Lobos out in front early with a two-run shot in the left field seats.

The slugfest showcased five individuals going yard, but the three Lobo homers were not enough to separate themselves from UNLV’s six run fourth inning .

“We put up 16 hits this game,” Sjostrand said. “We didn’t get the results that we wanted but you can’t beat 16 hits.”

Tess McPherson has not been able to find her groove all season long. In 3.1 innings, McPherson allotted nine runs in 10 hits with two walks.

McPherson said while her team has been struggling with pitching all season, the team continues to improve.

“Our pitching has been letting us down but we’re getting better. We are working,” she said. “They hit the missed pitch. They found it and they hit it and it was gone.”

McPherson is still in search of her fist victory this season and says that her lack of wins is not reflective of how much the team wants to attain some victories.

“Everyone wants to win here. Everyone wants to win bad,” McPherson said. “Every one of us continues to fight… Rarely ever do you see us give up.”

After trailing 10-5 in the bottom of the fourth inning, UNM put four runs together making it a 10-9. UNLV put up two runs in the top of the sixth for the final score of 12-9.

The game was never out of reach for the Lobos as the team loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs before Naomi Tellez popped out to end the game.

“Having to put up 10 plus runs every game is really difficult,” Beach said. “I’m really proud of our offense… We just need to eliminate the big inning.”