Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State softball won its series opener against UMKC on Friday, 5-2. Kelsey Horton and Destiny Blueford each had a home run in the Aggies' victory.
How it happened
NM State (18-17, 6-1) fell behind early as UMKC (13-28, 4-3) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. An error by the Aggies put a on first for the Roos. New Mexico State earned an out on a fielder's choice by Kendra Leach but as Kayla Green walked Bri Sims, runners were on first and second for the Roos. Morgan Byrn scored Leach on a single to give UMKC a 1-0 lead.
NM State stormed back in the bottom of the first as Rachel Rodriguez reached base on an error to start the inning. After Haley Nakamura hit into a fielder's choice, Kelsey Horton hit her eighth homer of the season to put the New Mexico State ahead 2-1.
Despite pitching a scoreless second inning, the Aggies searched for their rhythm in the circle as Green and Fahren Glackin faced the UMKC offense. Samaria Diaz was the answer NM State was looking for as she pitched a scoreless third and fourth inning for the Aggies.
In the bottom of the fourth, Destiny Blueford hit a solo homer to center field. Her first collegiate home run gave New Mexico State the 3-1 advantage.
Diaz took the circle again, pitching a pair of scoreless inning before NM State scored once more. In the sixth inning, Rodriguez started the rally with a leadoff single. Nakamura put down a sacrifice bunt, advancing Rodriguez to second base. Fahren Glackin walked, putting runners on first and second for Nikki Butler. Butler doubled to center field and Rodriguez and Glackin came home to give New Mexico State a 5-1 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Diaz hit trouble as she gave up a solo home run to UMKC's Byrn. Lia Lombardini hit a single before Green came in to relieve the freshman pitcher. Green did not give up another run and secured the Aggies 5-2 victory.
Diaz recorded her ninth win this season as she gave up one run on three hits and struck out three in her 4.1 innings of work. Green earned her third save of the season as she gave up three hits and one run.
New Mexico State closes the series with a doubleheader against UMKC on Saturday, April 15. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. (MT).