Local sports events

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.

Senior Jade Botelho again put up solid numbers Saturday as she went for 12 points to help lead the Western New Mexico University women’s basketball team against Texas Woman’s University. The Pioneers used a strong second quarter to pull away and never look back as they defeated the Lady Mustangs 67-43 in Lone Star Conference action.

Botelho made 6-11 from the field, along with two rebounds, two assists and a steal in 37 minutes. Dating back to her 10-point performance against Texas A&M-Kingsville back on Jan. 20, she has reached double-digits in six of her past seven games adding scoring efforts of 19, 14, 19, 6, 10 in those previous games before today.

After taking a lead out of doubles, the Western New Mexico University men’s tennis team finished the deal in singles to take down New Mexico Military Institute 7-2 Saturday in the regular season home opener for the Mustangs.

In doubles, Pablo Santibanez/Jose Mario Neto rolled to an 8-0 win at No. 3. Liam Fraboulet/David Valles fought off a tough challenge at the top flight, but claimed the second point for the Mustangs with the 8-6 victory. In the final doubles match at No. 2, Zachary Grabovic/Niko Barr nearly made it a clean sweep before falling just short, 6-8.

The Western New Mexico University softball team pulled off the unthinkable Thursday. Down to their last at-bat and final out, the Lady Mustangs reeled off three straight baserunners to come back from four down to defeat CSU-Pueblo 8-7 in the second game of the Dixie State/Easton Classic. In the first game of the day, MSU Denver used a late home run to take the 5-2 victory.
“Overall good team win, bench played a huge role for us,” Head Coach Elsa Cocker said. “We fought to the very end and really came together as a team. Going in, Alicia didn’t have any hits and then she comes through with the game-winning hit. She drilled it to dead center and we thought it was going to leave the yard.”

Sophomore Lyana Waddell kept the Roadrunners off balance throughout the game, as she kept them in check through the first five innings. The offense piled up eight hits, as junior Ariana Maldonado had both a double and home run. Redshirt freshman Alicia Habitzreuther added two hits.

Having faced Division I UTEP in an exhibition a few weeks ago, the Western New Mexico University women’s tennis team was able to kick-off the regular season Wednesday as they defeated Eastern Arizona 5-4.

 In doubles, WNMU took two of three. Jeanne Kolb/Klara Smolikova cruised to a solid 8-3 win at No. 2. Christine Roerick/Kaycie Cormier fought off a tough challenge at No. 3 before claiming the 8-5 win. Nadia Justiniano/Karina Diaz won five games, but fell just short 5-8 at the top flight.

The Vietnam Veterans' Color Guard returned to Drag's Court at WNMU last night to present the flag during the playing of the National Anthem prior to both the men's and women's basketball games.

Controversy had surrounded WNMU's playing of the National Anthem after recent comments made at a Silver City Town Council meeting. Those comments made by Jose Ray Jr., member of the color guard, and Councilor Lupe Cano, left the impression that the Mustang men's basketball team had disrespected America and the color guard by leaving the floor just prior to the playing of the National Anthem.

Dick “Drag” Drangmeister will add Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Hall of Fame to his list of accomplishments as he will be inducted this coming July 13 during the 2018 RMAC Hall of Fame Banquet and Awards Ceremony that will take place at the Colorado Springs Marriott Hotel.

 Drangmeister won a total of five RMAC Men’s Basketball Championship titles (’75, ’79, ’80, ’81, ’82) at Western New Mexico and garnered three NAIA District 7 titles which resulted in two NAIA National Men’s Basketball Tournament appearances. As a five-time NAIA District 7 Coach of the Year, Drangmeister finished his time with the Mustangs with a coaching record of 272-152. From 1984 to 1987, he coached at Southern Colorado (known today as CSU-Pueblo), where he won his fourth NAIA District 7 Championship and his sixth Coach of the Year Honor. At Adams State (1987-1991), he coached his team to a 1991 RMAC Men’s Basketball title, tallying his seventh RMAC title combined. After his coaching career, Drangmeister became the Director of Athletics at Western New Mexico from 1992 to 1997.

Freshman Sam Ruston continued his strong start to the spring season as he remained in the top-10, tying for ninth as he fired a 221 to help the Western New Mexico University men's golf team to an eighth place finish at the Cal State San Marcos Fujikura Invitational that concluded Tuesday at the par 72, 7,008 yard Shadowridge Country Club.

The Mustangs carded rounds of 307-297-299 for a 903 to land in eighth. Host CSU-San Marcos took the 16-team field with an 875 to win by a stroke over Chico State. CSU Monterey Bay's Elis Svard won the individual title by a shot over CSU-San Marcos' Chris Tuulik with a 209.

Live from Silver City

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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.

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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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