April 27, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Freshman Meghan Harman's fourth home run of the season was not enough to overcome three New Mexico State homers as LMU dropped its non-conference finale, 11-2 in five innings on Wednesday at Smith Field.
In a contest that was sure to provide plenty of offensive fireworks, the Lions (24-25), who lead the Pacific Coast Softball Conference in home runs with 43, found themselves on the rare end of a better-slugging team in the Aggies (37-12), who rank 14th in the nation with 62 round-trippers. And it was behind the power of Hoku Nohara, the Division I home run leader, that the Aggies were able to pull away from what had been a close contest over the first two innings.
NMSU had taken a 1-0 lead in the first and it was looking to be a low-scoring affair until the third inning, when Nohara greeted LMU junior reliever Corie Goodman with her 21st homer of the season, a two-run blast that cleared the protective netting on the tennis courts beyond leftfield. Three batters later, Ashley Maroda added her own two-run shot to give the Aggies a 5-1 lead.
Harman's one-out solo homer in the third helped the Lions immediately strike back. A single by senior Jennifer Nayudu followed and the inning was kept alive when sophomore Danielle Smith reached on a throwing error, putting two runners on. Two batters later, junior Sam Fischer drove in her 40th run of the season with a double to left, scoring Nayudu from second. With the tying run on second, however, junior Kelly Sarginson grounded out.
That was all the opening that NMSU needed, scoring six unanswered runs to hand LMU its first run-rule defeat of the season. Run-scoring hits by Tiare Jennings and Teresa Conrad extended the lead to 7-2 and a Lion error allowed two more runs to come home in a four-run fourth. Tehani Kaaihue's two-run homer in the fifth capped the scoring.
Sophomore Erica Grady
(1-2), the first of four LMU pitchers on the day, took the loss. Grady gave up two runs on two hits and three walks while striking out two in 2 1/3 innings.
Fischer's 13th double of the season ties her career high set last season and moved her into a tie for ninth-most in a single-season in LMU history. She also pulled into a tie for eighth place on the school's single-season RBI list with her 40th of the season, joining Sarginson (43) RBI to give the Lions two players with 40 RBI in the same year for the first time since 2007. Harman, Nayudu, Sarginson, and sophomore Skylar Segura accounted for LMU's other hits.
Celisha Walker (7-4) allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits over three innings to pick up the win for the Aggies.
LMU continues its season-ending nine-game homestand this weekend with a return to PCSC play. The Lions will host Cal State Bakersfield for doubleheaders starting at noon on both Saturday and Sunday.
- GO LIONS -