The University of New Mexico Softball team (2-10) dropped their opening two games of the UC-Riverside classic, losing to George Washington in the opener by a score of 8-3, as well as a mercy rule loss to the hosts by a score of 9-1 in six innings.
In the first game, Alexis Ruel got the start for the Lobos opposite Sierra Lange, but the Colonials got to Ruel immediately, driving her from the game before she had recorded an out, giving up five runs on four hits and a walk before she was pulled from the game. She was relieved by Krissy Fortner, who was able to give the Lobos seven innings of work, allowing seven hits and three runs, only two of which were earned, walking two and striking out four.
Maria Fuentes led the way for George Washington, hitting for the cycle, including a triple and a three run home run in the first inning, helping the Colonials to score all eight of their runs before the Lobos even stepped to the plate.
Cameryn O’Grady got the Lobos on the board in the first inning, driving in D’Andra DeFlora to get the Lobos on the board. In addition to O’Grady’s strong play, Andrea Howard also had a good day at the plate for UNM, going 1-for-2 with a walk and home run. Kristyn Whitley drove in the Lobos’ third and final run with a single to left field that scored Jensen Main.
The Lobos recorded nine hits and left a total of 11 runners stranded on base, unable to capitalize on the opportunities they had.
In the second game, Main got the start in the circle for New Mexico, and once again the Lobos allowed their opponent early runs, with UC Riverside scoring twice in the bottom of the first to take the lead. Jenna Curtan hit a double out of the leadoff spot for Riverside, and Emma Ramelot was able to get on base behind her, advancing her to third. A sac fly from Brittany Garcia got the Highlanders on the board, and Jenae Lockwood brought in the second run.
In the top of the second, the Lobos answered back with a Chelsea Johnson home run to cut the lead to 2-1, but it would be the Lobos only run of the game. In the bottom half of the inning, UCR wasted no time answering back, as a stand up triple from Ramelot drove in Karter Williams for the third run of the game.
Main ran into some serious trouble in the fourth, recording two quick outs before walking the bases full and then walking in the Highlanders fourth run. UCR’s Sarah Parten quickly added a double which drove in two more runs for UCR, giving them a 6-1 advantage. That was the end of Main’s outing, as she finished with 3.1 innings pitched, giving up six runs on six hits, recording three strikeouts and allowing three walks in the process. Melissa Bethke came in to record the final out of the inning and end the trouble.
Bethke made quick work of UCR in the fifth, recording a one, two, three inning. However, the Lobos’ offense never got going again after Johnson’s home run as Tayler Misfeldt, the winningest pitcher in UCR history recorded a career high 13 strikeouts on the day, only allowing the Lobos to record three hits.
Fortner returned to the hill in the sixth, and the Highlanders’ offense was able to take advantage. Parten added her third RBI of the day on a two out double before a Lockwood two-run double brought the Riverside lead to eight runs and invoked the mercy rule, ending the game.
The Lobos will return to the field Saturday morning at 10 a.m. MT against Montana.
Cameron Goeldner is a sports beat reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer and softball but also contributes content for baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @goeldfinger.