Local sports events

The Western New Mexico University softball team opened the 2018 campaign at the Colorado Mesa Invitational in Rio Rancho Friday. The Lady Mustangs fought back from a tough 25-1 loss in five innings against No. 8 Colorado Mesa to fall just short 6-1 against MSU Denver in the nightcap.

It was a tough start to the day for the Lady Mustangs (0-2), as they faced the No. 8 team in the nation in Colorado Mesa (2-0). The Mavericks tallied 19 hits and took advantage of 12 errors to record 20 unearned runs.

The Western New Mexico University softball team was tabbed 11th in the Lone Star Conference Preseason Poll that was released Thursday. The Lady Mustangs open the season this weekend in Albuquerque in the Colorado Mesa/New Mexico Tournament.

 WNMU picked up 39 points to end up 11th, as Angelo State was the top pick with 359 points and 29 first-place votes. They were followed by West Texas A&M and Texas Woman’s rounding out the top-three. Texas A&M-Commerce’s Mariah Jameyson was tabbed the Preseason Player of the Year, while Angelo State’s Brandy Marlett was the Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

Texas A&M-Commerce came in boasting the top mark in the Lone Star Conference and were put to the test and more by the Western New Mexico University women’s basketball team Thursday night. The Lady Mustangs held a late lead and it took free throws and a big steal by the Lady Lions for them to escape Silver City with the 69-67 conference win.

 Neither team led by more than six the entire night and that big lead belonged to WNMU (0-21, 0-13 LSC). The Lady Mustangs even were looking at a two-point lead with under a minute to play. With the game tied at 65, junior Ciara Fields attacked the paint once again and drew a foul. She promptly hit both foul shots to push the Lady Mustangs to a 67-65 lead. It was a huge game on the night for Fields as she poured in a season-high 29 points.

With the stands rocking throughout the second half, the play was top-notch on both ends of the floor and would come down to the final seconds. #22 Texas A&M-Commerce used a late three-pointer to send the game to overtime and then hit some clutch shots down the stretch to claim the 93-87 Lone Star Conference victory over the Western New Mexico University men’s basketball team Thursday night.

 WNMU (3-18, 0-12 LSC) looked poised to claim the win, holding a 73-68 lead with 1:57 to play. Reggie Reid then took it upon himself to lead Texas A&M-Commerce (17-4, 9-3 LSC) back and he basically did it by himself. He hit back-to-back shots in the paint, around two foul shots by junior Jordan Enriquez to keep it a three-point game with 1:12 to play.

Angelo State is favored to repeat as Lone Star Conference softball champions according to the preseason poll announced by league officials on Wednesday.

ASU received 29 of the 33 first-place votes for a total of 359 points in the poll decided by LSC coaches, sports information directors and various media representatives. The Rambelles concluded the 2017 season at 60-7 overall, which is the most wins in program history and matches the record in the Lone Star Conference, with a 26-3 league mark. ASU finished as the NCAA Division II runner-up after winning the South Central Regional title for the fifth time and LSC crown for the seventh time.

The Western New Mexico University men's tennis team opened up the spring portion of their schedule Saturday with an exhibition against Mesa Community College and claimed the 6-3 victory.

In doubles, the Mustangs swept all three matches. Vladimir Gnilozubov/Pablo Santibanez had a tough match at the top flight before pulling out the 9-8 (5) victory in the tiebreaker. Niko Barr/Jose Mario Neto also had to fight off a stiff challenge at No. 3 before claiming the 9-7 victory. At No. 2, Liam Fraboulet/David Valles rolled to the 8-4 win.

What a difference a year makes. Back on Dec. 1, 2016, the Western New Mexico University women’s basketball team paid a visit to West Texas A&M and it was a 100-52 victory for the Lady Buffs. This time around, the Lady Mustangs were pushing the play and behind a strong defensive effort, held a lead into the fourth quarter before the #17 Lady Buffs used an 11-1 run down the stretch to claim the 58-46 Lone Star Conference victory Saturday afternoon.

 WNMU (0-20, 0-12 LSC) forced 15 turnovers and limited West Texas A&M (16-4, 8-4 LSC) to a 18-46 (39) effort from the field, 6-21 (29) from three and 16-21 (76) at the foul line.

No. 11 West Texas A&M got a big lift from their bench as they piled up 54 points in helping the Buffs defeat the Western New Mexico University men’s basketball team 99-55 Saturday afternoon in Lone Star Conference play.
West Texas A&M (19-2, 9-2 LSC) got all the lift they needed off the bench, especially from Drew Evans who scored a game-high 23 points.

The Buffs had four players in double-figures followed by 15 from Ryan Quaid, 13 from Jordan Evans and 12 from David Chavlovich. As a team, they made 36-75 (48) from the field, 15-42 (36) from three and 12-20 (60) at the foul line.

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Editor's Note

The Grant County Beat continues to bring you new columnists. New this past week are the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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