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NM State Softball Loses Heartbreaker To No. 19 Sun Devils | bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News

NM State Softball Loses Heartbreaker To No. 19 Sun Devils

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Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

TEMPE, AZ - The New Mexico State softball team concluded play at the Diamond Devil Invitational on Sunday by falling to host and 19th-ranked Arizona State, 11-7, in a game that saw the Aggies come back from a three-run deficit in the final inning just to see the home team win on a walk-off grand slam.

Senior first baseman Kelsey Dodd went 2-for-2 on the day while freshmen Rachel Rodriguez and Corrin Green each went 2-for-3 against the Sun Devils. Green, a native of nearby Glendale, returned home and belted her third home run of the season while finishing with a team-high three RBIs.

Also returning home was NM State freshman Dallas McBride. The Scottsdale native pitched a complete game in front of her hometown fans but unfortunately picked up the loss to move to 1-4 on the season. McBride did, however, hit a big RBI triple and had two RBIs on the day.

Arizona State (12-5) scored a run in the first inning to take an early lead, but the Aggies struck right back in the top half of the second with two runs, one off the McBride triple and another off a Tatum Reedy fielder’s choice that scored McBride.

NM State (8-7) doubled its run production the following inning with another two runs. Rachel Rodriguez began the inning with double over the center fielder’s head. After moving to third on a sacrifice bunt by Emma Adams, Rodriguez scored on a sacrifice fly by her older sister, Staci, the second day in a row the sibling tandem combined to score a run for the Aggies.

The next batter due up for NM State was designated player Fiana Finau, but Aggie head coach Kathy Rodolph decided to pinch hit with Green. The decision proved to be a wise one as Green slammed a ball over the center-field wall. At the end of three innings NM State was leading the 19th-ranked team in the country, 4-1.

But Arizona State showed why they are one of the top teams in the country by flexing its muscle in the fourth and fifth frames. The Sun Devils marked three runs in the fourth off of two hits, a walk and an Aggie error, then added another two in the fifth off of a home run, double and single.

During the same time span the NM State offense was shut down and after five full innings NM State saw itself trailing 6-4 to the home team. The Aggies got a double from Dodd in the top of the sixth but could do nothing with it. Arizona State, meanwhile, got another homer in the bottom half of the inning to take a 7-4 lead heading into the final frame.

With the game seemingly out of hand, NM State mounted a last-inning comeback that would eventually knot the game up at seven. The comeback began with the first two batters reaching base, Rachel Rodriguez on a walk and Adams on a single. After a Staci Rodriguez flyout, Green came up and notched her second and third RBIs of the day after bringing in both runners with a double down the left-field line. A couple of batters later McBride would tie up the game and get her second RBI after bringing in Green on a sacrifice fly.

Unfortunately for the visitors, center fielder Jennifer Soria began the Sun Devil seventh with a double to right field. A groundout to second base moved Soria to third, and with one out the Aggies decided to load the bases in hopes of getting an inning-ending double play. This time the NM State strategy did not work, however, as Arizona State third baseman Haley Steele came up to the plate and proceeded to hit the game-winning grand slam.

The Aggies finish the Diamond Devil Invitational with a 3-2 record, the only losses coming at the hands of No. 15 Minnesota and No. 19 Arizona State. NM State is now 1-2 versus ranked teams, the only victory coming in Las Cruces versus 18th-ranked Nebraska.

Dodd led the Aggies over the weekend after hitting .429 (6-for-14) and finishing with a .786 slugging percentage. She had a couple of doubles and was one of four NM State players to hit a home run. In the circle, junior right-hander Makayla McAdams returned to her home state and notched her first two wins of the season, both on Saturday.

The Aggies now look forward to a trip to Las Vegas, Nev., to take part in the Alexis Park Resort Classic hosted by UNLV. The tournament will run from Thursday, Feb. 26, through Saturday, Feb. 28.