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The offense carried the momentum from a 16-hit performance Friday right into their matchup Saturday against Dominican (CA). The Western New Mexico University softball team had nine players record at least a hit, but despite the strong offensive output, the Penguins also posted 13 hits and two more runs as they claimed the 10-8 win over the Lady Mustangs during the final game of the Dixie State/Easton Classic.

Senior Aryana Gutierrez, junior Ariana Maldonado, redshirt freshman Alicia Habitzreuther and freshman Dominique Gonzales all had two-hit games for the Lady Mustangs (1-9). Maldonado and Gonzales each scored a pair of runs, while junior Yasmeen Gastelum drove in two runs.

WNMU used big first and fifth innings to initially take a large lead and then fight back into the contest. To start the contest, the Lady Mustangs had a quick 1-2-3 top of the first and then went to work on offense. After Maldonado walked, two quick outs were recorded. That didn’t stop the Lady Mustangs, as all four runs scored in the inning came with two outs. Habitzreuther singled and then freshman Grisdey Paredes-Alvarez doubled in the first run. Redshirt sophomore Clarissa Moreno worked a full-count walk to which Gastelum cleared the bases, as she singled driving in two runs, but on the play, the right fielder misplayed the ball to allow the third run to score on the play and move WNMU out to a 4-0 lead after one.

Dominican (2-5) didn’t waste much time in responding, as they pounded out five hits to plate three runs in the second to pull within one at 4-3.

Senior Mariangela Garcia pushed across a run in the home half of the second when she hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Gonzales who doubled to open the inning and moved to third on a single by Maldonado.

No runs came across in the third before the Penguins got a big boost in the fourth. They took advantage of three errors and four hits to push across five runs to move ahead 8-5. They tallied one more in the fifth to open up a 9-5 lead.

That’s when the Lady Mustangs began to do their late game magic once again. In the home half of the fifth, it looked like it would be a quick inning with the first two retired. Gonzales got things going with a single to left. Maldonado then doubled to score Gonzales. Gutierrez added a single to score Maldonado and then a double by Garcia put runners at second and third. Habitzreuther wasted no time singling on the first pitch through the left side to score Gutierrez and trim the deficit to just one at 9-8. Paredes-Alvarez nearly tied the game, but her lined shot was caught by the shortstop to end the inning.

WNMU nearly tied the game in the sixth when Moreno and Gastelum reached to open the frame. But, a fly out and a pair of ground outs followed to end the threat and keep Dominican with the 9-8 lead. The Penguins used the long ball in the seventh to go ahead 10-8.

In their last at-bat, Gutierrez singled, but a pair of fielder’s choice groundouts to second and then a pop out to second ended the game.

Sophomore Lyana Waddell started and went the first 2.1 innings to end up with the loss (1-5) as she allowed four earned runs. Sophomore Thalia O’Neill went the final 4.2 innings and limited the Penguins to four earned runs as well.

Waltman had a big game for Dominican as she went 4-4 with four runs scored and two RBI. She also went five innings in the circle to pick up the win (1-3) allowing just three earned runs. Schumacher added three hits and Chinchilla posted two hits and three RBI.

WNMU will remain on the road this coming Friday and Saturday when they will travel to Portales to open Lone Star Conference play against in-state rival Eastern New Mexico starting with a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 5 p.m.

Live from Silver City

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