Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Lobo The Independent Voice of UNM since 1895
Latest Issue
Read our print edition on Issuu
Freshman outfielder Brooke Breeland (27) slides into home plate Saturday afternoon at the Lobo Softball Field. The Lobos swept Northern Colorado this past weekend out of three game series.

Freshman outfielder Brooke Breeland (27) slides into home plate Saturday afternoon at the Lobo Softball Field. The Lobos swept Northern Colorado this past weekend out of three game series.

Softball: Lobos secure sweep in home openers

So much for the New Mexico softball team needing come-from-behind victories this weekend. The Lobos offense struck early in its home-opening series and held leads to the end.

Previously this season, the Lobos had allowed their opponents the first run in 12 games, but UNM scored first in all three of its games against Northern Colorado Saturday and Sunday, resulting in a sweep over the Bears. The Lobos’ offensive output led to final scores of 7-3, 8-3 and 10-1.

Sunday’s effort from the Lobos in particular provided an offensive spark when UNM (11-7) found runs in the first, third and fourth innings. The game ended midway through the fifth due to the eight-run mercy rule.

“We talked about keeping the team off the board early so that could give us a chance to get ahead, and they did that all three games,” UNM head coach Erica Beach said. “Defense needed to play better, which we did.”

Infielder Michala Erickson blasted home runs in consecutive appearances in a 3-for-3, five-RBI hitting performance. Her first homer over the left field fence in the third inning scored three runs to give UNM an 8-0 lead. She followed that up with another two-run long shot, going the opposite direction over right field.

Those final two runs secured Sunday’s win as UNM’s starting pitcher Colette Robert struck out the final two Northern Colorado batters.

Robert (6-3) gave up only one earned run on seven hits for a 3.66 earned-run average. She struck out five Bears with only one walk. This was her third complete game in her sixth start as a Lobo.

She said she appreciates the run support the UNM offense provided. It gives a pitcher a chance to breathe a bit, she said.

“It’s nice to be able to have that room in case you have a mess-up on the field,” Robert said. “You don’t want to have a mess-up, but it’s really nice to have that. That way you’re never fighting from behind and fighting to keep them off home plate.”

UNM established plenty of offensive support for its young pitcher by scattering 12 hits. No Nothern Colorado pitcher threw more than two innings. In two innings UNC starter Chandler Elsner had three earned runs with a 9.22 ERA, while Valerie Vidal gave up five runs in only 1/3 of an inning. The final two earned runs came from Jayme Reddacliff.

Left fielder Jade Gray gave UNM its first runs in the first inning when her single scored Cheyenne Smith and Mariah Rimmer. Later in the inning Elsner walked Tess McPherson with the bases loaded to add a Lobo run.

Erickson’s third-inning home run doubled the lead at 6-0, bringing across Chelsea Johnson and Gray along with herself. Rimmer’s two-RBI double built an 8-0 lead through three innings.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Get content from The Daily Lobo delivered to your inbox

UNC’s lone homer came from Erica Dick in the next half inning, a solo shot over the right field scoreboard in the first pitch of the at-bat. However, Erickson’s second homer in the fourth followed up Rimmer’s grounder to put the lead into mercy-rule range.

Erickson collected her 15th and 16th career homers, and she now has three this season.

“It felt really good,” Erickson said. “Our whole team has just been really hitting the ball well. So to finally start producing for my team, it was a great weekend for all of us.”

The Bears (3-11) singled twice in three at-bats in the fifth to try to keep the game going, but Robert caught Cheyenne Talmadge and Dick swinging for the final two outs.

Gray went 2-for-2 in her plate appearances with two runs scored and two RBIs. Rimmer, one of UNM’s more consistent hitters this year, was 2-for3 with a run and two more RBIs.

“We had a game plan in place and the girls did a great job of executing the game plan and getting on her (Elsner) early,” Beach said. “Hitting good pitches and not chasing the borderline ones. That was a big thing, pitch selection.”

J.R. Oppenheim is the assistant sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s basketball and women’s soccer. Contact him at or on Twitter @JROppenheim.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Lobo