The Grand Canyon University softball team picked up its fourth win of the season today at the Hillenbrand Invitational, defeating New Mexico 4-2 in a Saturday morning affair in Tucson, Ariz. After rallying to a one-run victory over Tennessee State Friday, the Antelopes came up short Saturday against the Tigers today, dropping a 3-2 decision. The 'Lopes now hold a 4-6 record in 2014 after going 1-1 on Saturday.
In game one, GCU and New Mexico remained scoreless until the top of the third inning, when Kelsey Barak singled to right field, scoring Camree Wartman and giving the 'Lopes a 1-0 lead.
New Mexico was able to push across a run in the home half of the fifth to even the score. GCU quickly answered in the top of the sixth, scoring three times in the frame. Wartman continued to shine for the 'Lopes, as the freshman tripled to right center. Wartman's three-bagger scored Kayla Henry and Haley Walker and gave Grand Canyon a 4-1 lead, which they would not relinquish.
Kailey Regester picked up her second win of the weekend in the circle, tossing five innings and allowing just one run. Stephanie Pesqueira picked up the save, striking out a pair of New Mexico batters in two innings of relief.
Wartman filled up the stat sheet in the Saturday morning affair, going a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate, accounting for two of the GCU runs, and tallying a pair of RBI.
Tennessee State jumped out to an early lead, scoring in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead. GCU got a run back in the third when Henry crossed the plate.
The Tigers scored twice in the home half of the third, to push the lead to 3-1. Canyon cut into the deficit in the fifth when Claire Zampini scored on a Wartman double to right field to make the score 3-2. The 'Lopes were unable to put together a late-inning rally for the second time in as many days and fell to Tennessee State.
Stephanie Smith and Walker finished with multi-hit performances, both going 2-for-3.
"I continue to be very pleased with Walker and her approach at the plate, she has been battling and having some great at-bats," said head coach Ann Pierson.
Taylor Nowlin took the loss in the circle, striking out four in 2.1 innings of work.
"We will rest up this afternoon and get ready for another game with Arizona tomorrow in the tournament finale," concluded Pierson.
The 'Lopes will wrap up play at the Hillenbrand Invitational tomorrow with a mid-day contest against tournament host Arizona. First pitch in Tucson is slated for 1 p.m. Fans can follow all of the action from Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium, as links for live stats and live video will be available at www.gculopes.com.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.