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Jayhawks slide past Lobos

The UNM women’s softball team’s 2-1 loss to Kansas University Sunday gave it a 1-3 split in its weekend games during the UNM Diamond Invitational.

Saturday UNM dropped a 10-2 decision to 14th-ranked California State at Fullerton in game one of a doubleheader, then scored nine runs in the fourth inning of game two to take an 11-3 win. Friday the Lobos lost 7-6 to Kansas after giving up six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning behind a grand-slam by Leah Tub. UNM had runners on second and third in the top of the seventh inning, but could not convert.

Sunday’s game also went down to the wire.

With Kansas holding on to a slim 2-1 lead, UNM’s Krissy Keene walked and stole second. Kansas pitcher Leah Hanson then threw a pitch into the ground and Keene advanced to third. Hanson walked Michelle Carter which brought Kelly Glass to the plate. Glass hit Hanson’s first pitch deep into right field. Kansas right fielder Erin Garvey caught the fly ball, then caught Keene at home after she had tagged up, ending the game.

UNM had its share of troubles at the plate, registering only five hits, while giving up 10.

Shortstop Marianna Fennelli’s fourth-inning double scored Krissy Keene, accounting for UNM’s only run of the game.

“Our team had a tough day hitting,” Fennelli said. “We were trying to hit home runs instead of base hits. Kansas came out relaxed; they had no fear. They were swinging to have fun.”

UNM starting pitcher Kathy Moore gave up the two Kansas runs and left the mound after the top of the third inning with an injury to her ribs. Amy Dumas took over at pitcher for the Lobos and held Kansas scoreless for the rest of the game, while giving up six hits.

Moore was later carted off the field, and following the game, head coach Susan Craig said she did not know the extent of her injury.

“We sent her to the hospital to find out,” Craig said. “On Friday the Kansas shortstop ran into her and we think she has bruised ribs.”

Craig said despite the loss, the team’s instability was to be expected.

“We were disappointed with our effort and felt like after beating Fullerton (Saturday) we had regained our confidence,” Craig said. “But it’s the first week and sometimes that’s what happens. We made a lot of outstanding plays.”

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In the top of the fifth, Glass made a spectacular diving catch in left-center field on a long fly ball by Courtney Wright. In the top of the sixth, Kansas’ Megan Urquhart and Amy Hulse singled to put runners on first and second base. Christi Musser hit a deep fly ball into right field, which Keene fielded. Campbell attempted to take third, but Keene fired a bullet to snag Campbell for the third out.

Craig said she was happy with her team’s effort but realized there was still work to be done.

“There were a lot of positives and a number of things that went well,” Craig said. “We’re trying to be a championship team and we have high standards, so we’ll work on everything; all phases need improvement.”

Fennelli said the Lobos, now at 3-3 on the year, learned a lot from playing in the invitational against talented teams.

“We learned that we weren’t as prepared as we thought,” Fennelli said. “The weather put us out of practice for a few days, but we’ll continue to work hard.”

The Lobos play next on Feb. 16-18 in the San Diego State Tournament in San Diego, Calif., along with ninth-ranked Fresno State University, 15th-ranked Stanford University and 22nd-ranked Long Beach State University.

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