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Junior Yasmeen Gastelum drove in the first run of the game for the Lady Mustangs and then added a solo home run as the Western New Mexico University softball team once again ran into a hot-hitting No. 7 Texas A&M-Commerce squad that won the series finale 18-3 Saturday in Lone Star Conference play.

Gastelum finished the day 2-3 as she drove in a run with a single in the fourth and picked up her third home run of the season in the sixth.

Following a scoreless first inning, Texas A&M-Commerce (35-5, 20-4 LSC) turned up the offense in the second when they plated seven runs on three hits, with the big blow being a grand slam by Kinsie Hebler. Hebler had a weekend to remember with 11 hits, five home runs and 19 RBI.

After adding two more runs in the third to go in front 9-0, WNMU (4-38, 2-22 LSC) got on the board in the fourth. Freshman Grisdey Paredes-Alvarez singled and after a strikeout, redshirt sophomore Clarissa Moreno doubled to center to put runners at second and third. Gastelum then battled to a 2-2 count before singling through the right side to bring in Paredes-Alvarez with the first Lady Mustang run. Following the second out of the inning, freshman Dominique Gonzales singled through the left side to plate Moreno and leave the Lions in front 9-2 after four.

A scoreless fifth inning came and went and then each team tallied a run in the sixth. Down 10-2 in the bottom of the sixth, the Lady Mustangs needed a run to keep the game going and Gastelum did just that. After two quick outs were recorded, Gastelum fouled off three straight pitches before drilling a solo homer over the left field fence.

Texas A&M-Commerce added eight runs in the top of the seventh, getting another grand slam, this time from LSC Preseason Player of the Year Mariah Jameyson to take the 18-3 win.

In addition to the two hits from Gastelum, senior Mariangela Garcia, Paredes-Alvarez, Moreno and Gonzales all added hits. Hebler and Monica Cherry led the Lions with three hits apiece, while Hebler drove in six and Jameyson with four.

In the circle, Lacie Bullard started for Texas A&M-Commerce and picked up the win (3-0) as she went the first five innings and allowed two earned runs with five strikeouts. Emily Otto went the final two innings and allowed one earned run. Sophomore Lyana Waddell went all seven innings for WNMU to end up with the loss (3-19) as she tossed 150 pitches and added three strikeouts.

WNMU will hit the road for the final time this season when they will travel to Lawton, Okla., to face Cameron with a pair of doubleheaders both Friday and Saturday starting at noon Mountain Time.

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.

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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