The New Mexico softball team sent its seniors out the way that anyone would want to end their final home game; with a win. Krissy Fortner and Chelsea Johnson led the charge and finished off San Diego State 4-1 for the Lobos first Mountain West series victory of the season.
Johnson went 3-for-3 with three runs batted in, including a two-run insurance home run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
“It was a really important weekend coming into this, I knew that, but I just wanted to go out with a bang and help my team in anyway possible,” Johnson said. “I didn’t care how I got a hit, I didn’t care what it looked like as long as I got on base and moved runners and did my job, I was going to help my team out.”
She was also able to deliver for pitching coach Megan Betsa, who asked her for a few more runs.
“Before that inning coach Betsa came by me and Camryn (O’Grady) and said ‘hey, we need a couple more runs’ and I said alright, I’m going to give it to you,” Johnson said. “We’re going to do this right now, me and you Cam. I wasn’t expecting a homerun, I was expecting some kind of hit to move Cam to help someone else out, and off the bat I was like ‘let’s go.’
Jensen Main got the start for the Lobos in the circle and gave the Lobos six innings of shutout work before she ran into trouble in the seventh. She loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk before she was replaced by Fortner. The senior came in and worked the Lobos out of the jam, with one run scoring on a sacrifice fly that recorded the second out.
Fortner was emotional after the game, hugging friends and family members before reflecting on her career.
“It’s been so much fun, I don’t really have one word to sum it up,” Fortner said. “We’ve spent so much time here and it's changed the course of my college career, I’ve met a lot of great people. It's been a blessing.”
The Lobos opened the scoring in the first with Johnson’s first RBI of the day, as a single to right field that was accompanied by a throwing error allowed Sydney Townes to score from second and give the Lobos the lead. In the second, they added another run to their total thanks to a leadoff home run from D’Andra DeFlora that gave them a 2-0 lead. Johnson’s two-run home run in the sixth ended the scoring for the Lobos.
UNM hits the road on Thursday, May 10 for a three game set with Boise State to finish off the regular season.
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.