The University of New Mexico softball team struggled to put the bat on the ball, managing only six hits compared to San Diego State’s 15 as the Lobos fell 7-3 on senior day.
“From our perspective we struggled all day long, head coach Paula Congleton said. “We weren’t really mentally prepared which is kind of a shame when we’re trying to honor our seniors.”
Krissy Fortner got the start, and was able to work out of early trouble after allowing the Aztecs to load the bases with two outs in the first inning, but a fly out ended the threat.
The Lobos struck first in the bottom of the inning, after a two out Cameryn O’Grady triple off the top of the wall set up an RBI single for senior Chelsea Johnson. O’Grady’s hit appeared as though it may leave the yard, but bounced off padding and back into play.
Andrea Howard walked behind Johnson, and the two advanced into scoring position on a passed ball, but D’Andra DeFlora struck out on a full count to end the inning and the threat.
The Aztecs answered back in the third with a two-run homer from Shelby Thompson to give SDSU the lead, 2-1 and threatened to add on, but Fortner was able to strand a runner at third and limit the damage.
O’Grady tied things right back up in the bottom half of the frame with a no doubt solo shot to right field that nearly cleared the bleachers.
“When (Johnson and O’Grady) are on, it brings a lot of firepower to the program and to our offense. Like I said, (O’Grady) defensively has been outstanding. It’s important to have those two start us off”
Fortner ran into trouble again in the fourth inning. A leadoff single eventually came around to score after the Aztecs doubled home the base runner-- ending Fortner's day.
She always pulled in favor of Jensen Main, who got the Lobos out of the inning-- but not before SDSU posted an unearned run off a fielding error to take a 4-2 lead.
San Diego State added another off of Main in the fifth before an unassisted double play by O’Grady at short stranded a runner at second. The Aztecs added two more in the sixth on a two out triple to reach their final tally of seven on the day.
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The Lobos attempted a rally in the bottom of the sixth, as Johnson homered over the bleachers in left field. The Lobos had runners at second and third with two outs, but a lineout to third ended the Lobos last threat.
After the game, Fortner and Johnson were honored for their contributions to the program. The two teams will play for the series victory on Sunday, May 6 at noon.
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.