The University of New Mexico softball team was swept in its final series of the season by the Boise State Broncos, who secured the Mountain West title and a place in the NCAA regionals with the win in the first half of Saturday’s doubleheader.
The Broncos wasted no time jumping on the Lobos in the first game of the series on Thursday, racking up eight runs in the first inning. Lobos starter Jensen Main walked the leadoff hitter to set the tone for the game, with the Broncos scoring five runs before she was able to record the first out of the inning. BSU shutout the Lobos for a 10-0 win.
The Lobos offense was unable to muster a single run, and only managed to record three hits. Catcher Sydney Broderick was the offensive star, recording two of the three hits. Freshman Andrea Howard had the other.
The Broncos added two more runs in the bottom of the third to bring their total to ten and cushion the mercy rule, setting the game up to end after five innings. Kelsey Broadus got the win for Boise State, going all five innings, allowing only three hits, walking three and striking out six. Main’s final line was not nearly as clean, pitching four innings, allowing 12 hits, 10 runs (nine earned) and walking out two.
The second game of the series was originally scheduled for Friday, but after it was rained out was moved to Saturday morning as the first of a doubleheader.
The Broncos to win one of the two games in order to clinch the Mountain West title, and they didn’t waste any time, securing it with a 10-1 victory in five innings.
Krissy Fortner got the start in the circle for the Lobos, and allowed five first inning runs to cross for the Broncos, including a two-run home run to cap off the inning.
The Lobos were once again stifled offensively, this time they were only able to muster two hits as Boise State starter Gianna Mancha cruised, going all five innings, allowing two hits, one run, walking four and striking out 10. The Lobos sole run came in the fourth inning via a solo home run from D’Andra DeFlora.
The Broncos pushed the lead to seven in the third thanks to another home run, this time a solo shot, as well as an RBI single. A pair of home runs in the bottom of the fourth, the first a solo shot and the second a two-run homer, to push the BSU lead to 10-1.
Cameryn O’Grady fouled out to the catcher to end the game, and the Broncos celebrated the first Mountain West championship in program history.
The final game of the series was the closest of the series, but the Broncos came from behind to earn the series sweep over the Lobos. Boise State once again opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, but this time they were held to one run. The Lobos responded in the third inning with three runs, two of which came around on a double from O’Grady. Chelsea Johnson drove O’Grady home on a single to give the Lobos a 3-1 lead, their first of the series.
But BSU answered with a solo shot in the bottom of the frame to cut the lead down to one. The Broncos tied the game up a few innings later in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single.
The Lobos were able to respond in the top of the sixth with two more runs thanks to a pair of solo home runs from Taylor Jones and Howard. However, the Broncos added one more in the sixth before a walk off double in the seventh scored the winning run to take a 6-5 victory.
New Mexico's trio of losses ran its streak of consecutive road losses up to 10, with its last win away from home coming on April 7 in a 5-3 win over Colorado State in extra innings. The Lobos finished the season with a 14-39 record overall.
Cameron Goeldner is a sports beat reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer, softball and the Albuquerque Isotopes, but also contributes content for baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @goeldfinger.