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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Softball: Loss drops Lobos to #7 in MW

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By Di Linh Hoang / New Mexico Daily Lobo

UNM softball players celebrate a run during the New Mexico State game on Tuesday. The game was the last home game for seniors Ally Hakeem, Chelsea Anaya, and Jordan Sjostrand.

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The New Mexico softball team continues to look for stability among the pitching staff after being handily outscored by in-state rival New Mexico State.

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UNM Senior infielder Jordan Sjostrand winds back to throw the ball to infielder Jasmine Casados Sunday afternoon at Lobo Field during the game against Utah State Aggies. The final road series will highlight the final time three Lobos will put on their cherry and silver uniforms as seniors Ally Hakeem, Chelsea Anaya, and Jordan Sjostrand will all be parting ways with the program.

By Di Linh Hoang / New Mexico Daily Lobo

“I wish that we would have been more competitive,” head coach Erica Beach said. “Our pitching had a tough time hitting spots and we got into a hole too quickly.”

UNM fell to 16-33 overall on the season after the New Mexico State Aggies (29-21) dominated the Lobos 14-2 in five innings of play.

Just one game after leading the team to its first series victory, Lauren Soles only lasted 2.1 innings giving up six runs off of just three hits and five walks.

The Lobos responded with a run in the bottom of the second inning to make the game manageable going into the third only down 2-1.

However, Beach had been preaching all season long about not giving up the big inning and her club couldn’t manage to escape a wretched six run third inning that pulled Soles out of the game.

New Mexico responded with a run in the third, but the Aggies exploded with a six run top of the fifth to put the game out of reach.

Both the Aggies and the Lobos took a win on the road each time the two opponents faced off this season.

Beach said that the team would desperately like to win the final series of the year against Boise State (27-19, 11-7 MW).

“Boise State is tough. We want to take a couple from Boise,” Beach said. “We can obviously compete with anyone in the conference.”

Freshman outfielder Willow Kalinen now leads the team in hitting after swinging a blistering bat the past couple of weeks. She said that the team must look past the blowout and finish the season strong.

“It was a heart breaker. We need to look forward from here,” Kalinen said. “Our offense has to come out like it has been and I expect our pitchers to support us.”

Kalinen is hitting .426 in 68 at-bats this season. Although she has not played all 49 games this season, Kalinen said that she has played well due to her increased confidence.

“I’m starting to trust myself,” Kalinen said. “These past few weeks have been really successful.”

The final road series will highlight the final time three Lobos will put on their cherry and silver uniforms. Beach said that the team looks to win as seniors Ally Hakeem, Chelsea Anaya, and Jordan Sjostrand will all be parting ways with the program.

“They must enjoy putting on that uniform for the last time,” Beach said. “Hopefully we can make a splash to end the season.