NMSU Softball Closes Out Regular Season With 5-4 Win Over Florida Atlantic

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State softball defeated FAU 5-4 on Thursday to close out the regular season.

How it happened

Kayla Green earned the start in the circle for NM State (25-22, 11-4 WAC) but hit trouble early when she walked Emily Lochten and hit Madisyn Palmer with a pitch. After a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, Alex Miller hit into a fielder's choice and scored the first run of the game.

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first, Kelsey Horton brought the offense to life by hitting a single to center field. Nikki Butler followed the sophomore with a two-run homer, which gave the Aggies a 2-1 advantage over FAU (33-19, 13-8 C-USA).

After two scoreless innings, FAU rallied with back-to-back singles to start the fourth. With runners on the corners, Samantha Langeyre put down a sacrifice bunt that scored the game-tying run for Florida Atlantic. A double by Lochten and a single by Palmer allowed two more runs to score for the Owls and gave FAU the 4-2 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Butler singled to left-field, giving the NM State offense a much-needed spark. Victoria Castro followed the freshman by hitting long ball over the left field fence. Her eighth homer of the season tied the game, 4-4.

The Aggies went to their bullpen in the fifth inning, bringing in Samaria Diaz to relieve Green in the circle. She pitched a scoreless inning and struck out two-straight batters to end the Owls' at-bat. Rachel Rodriguez began the bottom of the inning with single up the middle. She followed by stealing second for her 19th stolen base this season. Horton hit a shallow single to center field which allowed Rodriguez to score New Mexico State's final run.

After a scoreless sixth inning, FAU made one last effort to steal the game from the Aggies, beginning with a single by Tatum Buckley. NM State went to its bench after the play and Green came back to finish what she started. She walked the next batter, but settled in, helping the Aggies record three-straight outs in the 5-4 victory.

Diaz recorded her 14th win this season with the victory. She allowed two hits and struck out three in her two innings of work. Green picked up her fourth save of the season, which ties NM State's single season record. She struck out three and only walked two batters.

New Mexico State hosts the Western Athletic Conference Tournament next week. The top-seeded Aggies start the tournament by squaring-off with the winner of the game between No. 4 seeded UMKC and No. 5 seeded CSU Bakersfield. NM State's quarterfinal game will be played on May 11 at 4 p.m. (MT).