Saturday, March 19, 2016

New Mexico shocks No. 23/25 Nebraska in 6-3 win

For the first time in more than three years, the New Mexico Lobos beat a nationally-ranked opponent.

In Fullerton's Easton Tournament Saturday, Erica Beach's Lobos picked up their biggest win of the season by knocking off No. 23/25 Nebraska 6-3.  New Mexico pounded out 10 hits and was able to take advantage of three Huskers errors in the win.

The big inning for UNM offensively was the fifth when the Lobos scored four runs to take control.  Jasmine Casados got a hit in her third consecutive at-bat of the game, driving in a run to push New Mexico in front 3-2.  A Nebraska error then made it 4-2 before Karissa Haleman's double to left drove in a pair of runs to make it a 6-2 margin.

After a solo home run cut the lead to 6-3, New Mexico and reliever Krissy Fortner survived a scary seventh inning.  Nebraska loaded the bases with no outs, but Fortner was able to escape the jam without allowing a run and preserving the Lobos' first win over a ranked team since March 14, 2013.  That day, it was another 23rd-ranked squad (Oregon State) going down to defeat versus New Mexico.

Lisa Rodrigues picked up her first win of the season for UNM today.  The win took some wind out of the sails of Nebraska as the Huskers lost a second straight game to an unranked foe, falling to Arkansas, in a game later Saturday in Fullerton.  Meanwhile, the Lobos picked up an 8-6 win in 10 innings over DePaul.

For Casados, it was an outstanding day.  She went 5-for-7 at the plate with a home run and double, along with six RBI, in the two combined New Mexico wins.

Among other Saturday highlights involving Mountain West teams, No. 24/24 Fresno State knocked off Princeton 8-7, San Jose State edged Illinois 7-6, San Diego State defeated Cal Poly 5-1, and Colorado State beat St. Mary's 4-1.