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WNMU softball roars back to earn split

March 4th, 2012 No comments

The Lady Stangs felt like they let one get away losing both games to RMAC foe UCCS yesterday. In today’s double header, WNMU roared back to get convincing wins 17-11 in game one followed by a 19-6 route in the night cap.

In the opener it looked like it was going to be another close game as both teams pushed across 3 runs in the first inning. WNMU scored the lone run in the second inning to take a 4-3 lead into the third. Then the bats exploded for WNMU with 5 runs to UCCS’s lone run and the Mustangs had a 9-4 lead. But the Panthers would keep WNMU scoreless in the 4th inning while their bats rocked the Mustangs for 5 runs to tie the game. The Stangs would then get three runs in the 6th and 5 in the 7th inning holding UCCS to 2 runs over their last 3 innings.

The Mustangs put up 17 runs on 21 hits while leaving 7 runners on base. Aimee Vasquez was 4-5 at the plate with 4 RBI and 2 runs scored. Mariah McDonald had 3 hits in 5 appearances to drive in 2 runs and score 3 herself. Kaitlynn Barnes was 4-4 from the plate scoring 3 and bringing home 2 runs. Ashley Gonzales was also strong with 3 hits in 4 appearances and 2 runs scored. Arriel Smith went the distance for the Mustangs giving up 14 hits, 11 earned runs while walking 2 and striking out 2.

In the 2nd game of the day it took a little longer for WNMU to get going after falling behind 1-0 in the first inning. The score remained that way until the third inning when the Mustangs exploded for 7 runs followed by 5 in the fourth, 1 run in the fifth and 6 runs in the sixth to end the game on the run rule.

McDonald continued her hot hitting with 3 hits in 4 at bats scoring 3 times. Ashley Eichenberger also had 3 hits in for appearances driving in 1 run and scoring 2 times as well. Brittney Batten was also 3 of 4 at the plate driving in 3 runs and scoring 3 times. Ashley Gonzales led the Stangs with 4 RBI on 2 hits. Courtney Graf also added 3 RBI on 3 hits. Arriel Smith started the game at pitcher with Bri Robles out due to an injury. Smith go her second win of the day going 2.2 innings allowing 1 hit, 1 earned run and 3 walks. Ricki Gentry then came on in relief giving up 5 hits and 4 earned runs in 3.1 innings of work. Brittney Batten saw time on the mound as well.

WNMU improves to 6-2 in the RMAC and will face intrastate rival NM Highlands on Wednesday for a double header in Las Vegas NM.

Softball drops two road games

March 4th, 2012 No comments

WNMU softball hit the road this weekend riding high on a 4 game sweep of Adams State last weekend. But winning on the road in the RMAC is tough and Saturday’s action at UC-Colorado Springs would prove to be no exception as UCCS won 10-2 in the opener and came back to get an extra innings win 8-7 in the nightcap.

WNMU struck first in game one as Ashley Eichenberger would cross the plate to put the Stangs up 1-0 but Bri Robles struggled early as UCCS answered with 5 runs in their half of the opening inning to build a big lead. Robles settled down a bit but UCCS added 2 more runs in the second inning and another in the fourth while WNMU was not able to score. Eichenberger added the only other WNMU run in the fifth with an RBI single. Robles was hit in the hand in the fourth inning and had to leave the game with Arriel Smith coming on in relief. UCCS added 2 more runs in the sixth and the game was called on the run rule.

In game two WNMU again got off to a quick start as Aimee Vasquez singled to open the game. Following a UCCS error and a fielder’s choice, the Stangs had two runners on with one out and Kaitlynn Barnes at the plate. Barnes hit a single to bring Mariah McDonald home followed by a Stephanie Barnes single to bring Eichenberger across the plate. Arriel Smith kept the UCCS bats quiet and it was a pitching duel into the fourth inning. Then Jessica Jayo hammered a solo home run to given WNMU the 3-0 lead.

UCCS got their first runs in the sixth inning on a two run homer. WNMU tried to put the game away in the seventh inning as McDonald opened with a single, Eichenberger then reached on a walk and Barnes lined a double into right-center field and the Lady Stangs had a 5-2 lead. Brittney Batten then hit a groundout driving Barnes home while Jayo continued her hot streak on the next at bat with a 2nd solo home run. WNMU ended their half of the seventh up 7-2.

WNMU allowed the first batter to reach base on an error and that seemed to give the home team some momentum. The next batter was put out but the Panthers followed with a singe, double and a homer to put 4 runs on the board and pull within 1 run of the Mustangs. With two outs a double brought home the tying run and the game went into extra innings. WNMU left two runners on base in the eighth while Smith retired the Panthers in order to take the game into the ninth inning. WNMU threatened as Higgins reached third base after hitting a single and a Batten single. Jayo hit a deep fly ball and Higgins tagged but was gunned down at the plate. A strikeout ended the Stangs’ inning.

UCCS then won the game on an opening double followed by a passed ball and a wild pitch to score the run. WNMU and UCCS face off in a double header today.

Mustang softball wins in exciting fashion

February 27th, 2012 No comments

If you have not been to a softball game recently, you are missing out on some exciting action. WNMU faced Adams State College in a Sunday double header dominating in game one with a 9-0 win and coming from behind in game two for an 8-6 victory to complete the weekend sweep of the Grizzlies.

The Lady Stangs got off to a fast start in the first game as Aimee Vasquez lead off with a double, followed by a double from Ashly Eichenberger which was in turn followed by yet another double from Kaitlynn Barnes. Ricki Gentry added a sacrifice fly to open up a 4-0 lead at the end of the first inning. The Lady Stangs would add 3 more runs in the second as Barnes hit a triple and Stephanie Higgins and Brittney Batten each added RBI singles. WNMU’s final scores came in the fifth inning as Higgins belted a 2 run homer to tally the final runs in the game that was shortened to 5 innings due to the mercy rule. Bri Robles got the win allowing just 2 hits, walking 2 and striking out 4.

The second game would be much different. Arriel Smith took the mound for the home team and made quick work of the Grizzlies in the first inning. Eichenberger would nail a pitch that may still be soaring over Silver City, giving the Mustangs a 1-0 lead after one inning. But the Grizzlies answered in the next inning with 2 solo home runs to take the lead. WNMU would respond as Higgins opened the inning with a walk. Kale Gahn added a single and then Batten’s bunt would find the hole between first and second base for another single bringing Higgins to home plate. Courtney Graf added a sacrifice fly and WNMU had a 3-2 lead as the inning came to an end.

Adams State would answer with a couple of hits and sacrifice bunts to score 2 runs putting the Grizzlies back on top 4-3. ASC would also add runs in the fifth inning courtesy of a WNMU error to take a 6-3 lead over the home team.

WNMU’s bats woke up in their half of the fifth inning. Mariah McDonald and Eichengerger each reached on singles while Barnes hit a mile high pop up that landed in fair territory to advance the runners. Barnes was called out on an infield fly rule. Gentry lined a double to left bringing both runners home. WNMU was within one run at the end of the inning, 6-5.

Arriel Smith found her groove again in the sixth and kept ASC scoreless. Batten led off with a double to center field. Graf laid down a perfect bunt to advance the runner followed by a Vasquez single to tie the game at 6 runs a piece. After a strikeout by the Stangs, Eichenberger came to the plate and sealed the win with authority nailing a perfect pitch for a 2 run homer to put WNMU for good at 8-6. Robles came on in relief to earn the save. Smith collected the win giving up 6 runs, 5 earned, on 11 hits as she walked 2 and had 4 strikeouts.

WNMU sits atop the RMAC at 4-0 early in the conference schedule. The Mustangs hit the road this weekend for double headers on both Saturday and Sunday at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

Softball opens RMAC season with exciting wins

February 26th, 2012 No comments

The Lady Stangs had an up and down start to their season with a great performance in the Desert Stinger Tournament followed by a disappointing outing at the Grand Canyon Invitational last weekend. That inconsistency worried Coach Angela Corliss a little as the Lady Stangs opened the RMAC season at home against Adams State College.

WNMU got a solid performance in game one from pitcher Bri Robles who did not allow a hit in the first four innings giving the Lady Stang bats time to heat up and build an early lead. Stephanie Higgins hit a solo home run to open the scoring in the 2nd inning followed by a solo shot from Ricki Gentry in the 3rd to build a 2-0 WNMU lead. In the 4th inning Higgins came back to the plate with two runners in scoring position. Higgins hit a line drive down the left field line to bring Mariah McDonald and Ashley Eichenberger home building the lead to 4-0.

The home team relaxed a bit as the Grizzlies were able to rally in the 6th inning driving in a run on a double followed by a 2 run homer to pull within 1 of the Lady Stangs with no outs. Robles then found her focus once again striking out the next two batters and forcing a pop up to end the inning and the ASC rally and preserving the 4-3 victory. Robles gave up 3 runs in 7 innings of work on 5 hits with 10 strikeouts and 3 walks.

ASC liked what they saw in the 6th inning and decided to continue their onslaught in the 2nd game building an 8-0 lead over WNMU before Western came roaring back to eke out a 13-12 win.

Arriel Smith got the start on the mound for WNMU getting off to a rocky start as ASC burst out for 8 runs in the 2nd inning. DJ Consonero hit a grand slam to account for 4 of the runs. Western didn’t give up however as McDonald opened the 3rd with a double followed by an Eichenberger single. With runners on the corner Higgins came to the plate having gone 3-3 in the first game and feeling very confident. She hit a single to drive McDonald home followed by a Brittney Batten double to drive Eichenberger across the plate. Kim McKnight drove a pitch deep on the next at bat to bring Higgins and Batten home and cut the ASC lead in half, 8-4.

Smith began pitching solidly keeping the Grizzly bats to a whimper. Higgins returned to the plate in the 4th driving in a run on a fielder’s choice and Courtney Graf blasted a home run in the 5th inning to bring WNMU to within 2 runs. That’s when the real fun began if you are a fan of offense. In their half of the 6th ASC scored 4 runs off of a pair of home runs to build a 12-6 lead.

WNMU would answer quickly in their half of the inning as the first two batters reached base on walks. Imagine the Grizzly pitcher’s fear as she then saw Higgins step to the plate. Higgins did not disappoint with a double to left to bring home 1 run. Kale Gahn took a 0-1 pitch down the third base line for a double driving home 2 more runs and the comeback was on! Jessica Jay got a single followed by a McKnight RBI single. 2 walks later and the bases were loaded for McDonald who answered the call with a single driving home 1 run. Eichenberger then put WNMU up for good with a single that took a home town bounce over the head of the first baseman bringing home 2 runs to give WNMU the 13-12 lead.

ASC would try to answer in the final inning getting a runner to 3rd base. The next batter hit a pop up just over the shortstop but McDonald made a diving catch for the out. The base runner tagged and appeared to beat the throw home but WNMU quickly appealed and the 3rd base umpire confirmed that the runner had left the base early; out number 3 and the win for the home team!

WNMU and ASC will face off for another double header today beginning at 11 a.m. on the campus of Western New Mexico University.

Lady Stangs softball drops second game

February 19th, 2012 No comments

The Lady Stangs looked to rebound in their second game of the Grand Canyon University Invitational as they took the diamond against Notre Dame de Nemur but the Argonauts’ hot bats defeated WNMU 7-4.

Notre Dame and WNMU were scoreless in the first three innings but NDNU’s bats began heating up in the third as they opened the scoring with 3 runs on 3 hits. WNMU couldn’t answer in their half of the stanza while Notre Dame would continue the solid play in the fourth inning getting 3 more runs on 3 hits to build a 6-0 lead over Western. WNMU would finally answer in the fifth inning as they loaded the bases and Ashley Gonzalez would draw a walk to bring home Stephanie Higgins. Courtney Graf hit a shot to second on the next at bat that would drive home Mariah McDonald. The Lady Stangs would get the final run of the inning on a groundout RBI by Aimee Vasquez to bring Jessica Jayo home.

NDNU would add one more run in the sixth to extend the lead to 7-3. WNMU’s McDonald opened the seventh inning with a single. She watched the next two batters go by without getting hits then Graf would drive her home with a double to right field. But a strikeout on the next at bat ended the Lady Stang’s attempt at a comeback. Arriel Smith pitched all 6 innings allowing 7 runs, 6 earned, on 8 hits. WNMU falls to 5-6 on the season and will face Grand Canyon and Notre Dame de Nemur today before returning home to open up the RMAC season against Adams State College next Saturday and Sunday.

Lady Stangs Softball drops opener at GCU

February 18th, 2012 No comments

The Lady Stangs softball team returned to the diamond after a successful trip to Las Vegas last weekend. WNMU opened up play at the Grand Canyon University Invitational against the host ‘Lopes in the first game of a double header. Unfortunately the Lady Stangs dropped the first game 8-2.

After a scoreless first inning, Grand Canyon jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning as Bri Robles walked the first runner. A sacrifice bunt moved the runner into scoring position. It didn’t take long to score as a double moved the runner home and then a dropped fly ball moved that runner across the plate. The Mustangs were unable to answer in their half of the inning and GCU picked right back up in the third inning. The lead off batter got a single, was moved ahead by a ground out and after WNMU got two outs, GCU was able to get a double driving in their third run of the game. GCU was able to put 5 more runs on the board in the 4th inning before WNMU got 2 in their half of the sixth inning.

Bri Robles took the loss pitching 4 innings giving up 9 hits, 8 runs (6 earned) while striking out 2 and walking 2. Ariel Smith came on in the final 3 innings giving up 2 hits, no runs and recording 1 strike out. The Lady Stang bats were quiet getting only 2 hits on 23 at bats; Mariah McDonald and Courtney Graf got the only WNMU hits. Aimee Vasquez and Ashlee Gonzales both reached base on walks and were able to score Western’s only runs. WNMU faces Notre Dame de Nemur in the night cap.

Former Mustang golfers making their mark

February 13th, 2012 No comments

Joon Lee and Scott Crichton may have finished their collegiate careers but both are not done with golf as the focus of their time. Joon Lee made it through Q-school on the Asian PGA Tour and competed in two tournaments as a professional. In his debut at the Zaykabar Myanmar Open he was in 3rd place after two rounds firing matching 67s before faltering on day 3 to a 76. He closed strong with a 69 to finish tied for 25th. Not bad for his pro debut. In his second showing, the ICTSI Philippines Open, Joon struggled with rounds of 79 and 74 and did not make the cut.

Scott Crichton has yet to turn pro but since graduating from WNMU two years ago has been playing as part of the Scottish National Amateur team. Amateur rules in Europe and elsewhere are a bit different than in the States. Amateurs can win money in tournaments and still maintain their amateur status and Crichton has been doing just that. Last season Scott got off to a slow start in individual tournaments missing the cuts in his first three events but came back strong to finish 19th in the Turkish Amateur and 36th in the Scottish Stroke Play Championships. Crichton spent most of the winter playing with the team in Dubai against other national teams. He is now in South Africa for almost 2 months. In the first tournament, Crichton finished 35th with rounds of 70-77-74-75. Then in the South African Stroke Play Championship concluded this weekend, Scott finished tied for 6th place with rounds of 69-74-71-71.

Softball wraps up successful tournament

February 13th, 2012 No comments

WNMU completed play in the Desert Stinger Softball Tournament in Las Vegas yesterday with an impressive 9-0 win over Upper Iowa University. WNMU got off to a quick start with 4 runs in the first inning on 4 hits including 2 home runs. The Lady Stangs then added a run in the 3rd on a double to push over a lead off walk. Western extended the lead by adding 3 more runs in the 4th inning fueled by a triple and a 3rd home run of the game. In the fifth, the Lady Stangs got another home run to score the final run of the game, which was called due to the mercy rule.

Catcher Kaitlyn Barnes led the WNMU offensive onslaught scoring 3 runs and driving in 4 while getting 2 hits on 3 plate appearances; she walked on her 3rd at bat. Bri Robles got the win pitching 4 innings, allowing 4 hits (all singles), walking 3. Smith came in to get 1 inning in relief retiring all 3 batters she faced.

WNMU finished the tournament with a 4-1 record to improve to 5-4 on the season. The Lady Stangs will return to action in Phoenix at the Grand Canyon University Invitational this weekend as they face GCU and Notre Dame de Namur two times each.

Lady Stang softball continues play at Desert Stinger

February 12th, 2012 No comments

The Lady Stangs continued to improve as play continued Saturday in the 28 team Desert Stinger Softball Tournament in Las Vegas NV. After splitting their opening day games, WNMU was able to get a sweep in Saturday’s action to improve to 3-1 in the tournament.

In the first game Saturday, WNMU faced University of Minnesota-Duluth and fell behind quickly as UMD got a two run homer in the first inning. But in Western’s half of the inning Ashley Eichenberger drilled a solo home run and Brittney Batten’s sacrifice fly to right drove in a run to tie the game at 2. In the third inning Kaitlyn Barnes’ 2 run homer put the Lady Stangs on top 4-2. UMD didn’t go away pushing a runner across home plate in the fourth inning and again in the fifth to tie the game at 4. Bri Robles gave up 2 runs in the sixth inning to UMD batters and Western found themselves behind 6-5 late in the game. But not to worry, in the bottom of the sixth UMD committed 2 errors as WNMU rallied for 3 runs to take the lead for good. Eichenberger drove in 1 run while Ricki Gentry’s put a ball in play to left field on the next at bat; the left fielder bobbled the ball and WNMU was able to get 2 runs across home plate. Arriel Smith came on in relief to get the W for Coach Angela Slaugh. The final score was 8-6.

In the night cap, Western fell behind early to Central Washington before rallying and pulling away late. The Lady Stangs led off the first inning taking a 1-0 lead on a home run by Eichenberger. CWU answered with 2 runs in their first plate appearance. WNMU pulled back into a tie in the third with a Stephanie Higgins sacrifice. The game did not stay tied for long as CWU posted a run in the third and fourth innings pulling ahead 4-2. Little did they know the Western bats were about to explode. With 2 outs in the fifth inning, Britney Batten started a rally with a single and the Lady Stangs had two runners aboard for Kim McKnight. McKnight sent a shot into center field allowing both base runners to score. In the 6th inning a pair of singles and a walk set the table for Higgins’ single driving home 2 runs and Batten followed up with a double to push in 2 more. WNMU came away with an 8-4 victory. This time Robles relieved Smith for the final 4 innings on the mound to collect the victory.

WNMU concludes play today against Upper Iowa University.

WNMU Softball back on the diamond

February 11th, 2012 No comments

WNMU Lady Stangs (1-3) returned to action on Friday in Las Vegas NV as part of the Desert Stinger Collegiate Tournament. Several other RMAC teams, including Regis University, Ft. Lewis College, NM Highlands University, Metro State, Colorado School of Mines and Chadron State are also in attendance. The tourney is hosted by Montanan State University Billings over 3 days and features some of the best DII soft ball teams in the nation. The field features 28 teams from the Central and West regions of the NCAA.

Day one play drop the opener to Augustana College 4-1 before coming back in the night cap to edge Cameron University 7-5. Augustana is ranked #8 in the nation. Stats for both games are not readily available and should be posted later today. WNMU continues play on day 2 opening against University of Minnesota Duluth at 4:30 p.m. then taking on Central Washington at 7 p.m.