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Softball: Lobos use the long ball to take down Aztecs, give coach win No. 400

University of New Mexico head softball coach Paula Congleton recorded the 400th win of her coaching career in a 5-2 win over the San Diego State Aztecs on Friday night.

“I’m really excited, I’m really proud of that,” Congleton said. “I’m really glad that it’s here at UNM. As an alumni, just bringing this program back it’s exciting.”

The Aztecs opened the scoring in the top of the first inning off of Lobos starter Jensen Main, as a Shelby Thompson one out single was followed by a single from Katie Byrd that advanced Thompson to third. She came around to score on a Kelsey Munoz single to open up an early 1-0 lead. Main was able to strand the remaining runners, two of 11 runners on the night that the Aztecs left on base.

Neither team scored again until the bottom of the fourth inning, when a leadoff home run from Cameryn O’Grady went over the centerfield fence to tie the game at one.

SDSU answered back with another run in the top of the sixth, as a single from Zaria Meshack drove in Taylor Adams from third.

The Lobos offense blew open the game in the bottom half of the inning, thanks to a pair of two run home runs from Chelsea Johnson and D’Andra DeFlora. Aleyah Wilbon led off the inning with a walk, and was on base for Johnson, who launched a homer to left field to put the Lobos up 3-2. With the home run, Johnson moved into fourth place in career homers at UNM with 32. Andrea Howard followed with a bunt single and DeFlora drove her in with her own home run, this one to right center. The Lobos had a 5-2 lead heading into the top of the seventh.

In the top of the seventh, Main walked the first batter of the inning and senior Krissy Fortner came in close out the game. A single followed to put runners on first and second with nobody out, before a strikeout recorded the first out and a walk loaded the bases. With the bases loaded and one out, Fortner was able to get the next two batters to line out and fly out respectively to end the game and secure her first save of the year. She is the Lobos career leader in saves with 16.

UNM improves to 13-35, 6-13 in the Mountain West with the victory. The Aztecs now sit at 16-30, 7-13 Mountain West.

The Lobos return to action on Saturday at noon for the second game of the series, which will include senior day festivities as well as a whiteout.

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 or on Twitter 

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