NMSU Softball Defeats CSU Bakersfield 7-2 In WAC Tourney Opener

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – New Mexico State won a thriller to open the 2017 WAC Softball Tournament. The Aggies scored six runs in the sixth to defeat CSU Bakersfield 7-2. Kelsey Horton hit her second grand slam of the season in the victory.

How it happened

Kayla Green earned the start in the circle for NM State but hit trouble early when she hit the first batter she faced. After the Aggies recorded their first out of the game, Green gave up a home run to Jo Larios, giving CSUB an early 2-0 lead.

Rachel Rodriguez tripled to start NM State's at-bat in the first inning. Haley Nakamura followed the junior by grounding out to second base. Rodriguez came home on the play, cutting the Aggies deficit in half.

Following the first inning, Green and Summer Evans dueled with each pitcher throwing a pair of scoreless innings. In the fourth, Green ran into trouble again, allowing the Roadrunners to get two on base with one out. Freshman pitcher Samaria Diaz came in for Green and did not allow a run when she closed out the inning.

Diaz and Evans continued to battle but Evans faced trouble in the sixth when she gave up a leadoff walk to Victoria Castro. Caity Szczesny followed by hitting a single to put runners on the corners. Kaitlyn Rubio came in to pinch hit and drew her 15th walk of the season, loading the bases. After Alexis Maynez struck out for the second out of the inning, Rodriguez hit her second single of the game, which scored the tying run. Following the junior, Nakamura battled in the batter's box and walked, giving the Aggies their first lead of the day. Kelsey Horton scored the final runs of the inning when she hit a grand slam over the left field fence, giving the Aggies the 7-2 lead.

In the seventh inning, Diaz returned to the circle and recorded an out before she hit a CSUB batter. With a runner on first, Karah Wiseman hit into a double play, ending the game and securing NM State's victory.

Diaz recorded her 15th win in the circle this season. She did not allow a hit in her 3.2 innings of work and only walked one batter. Green pitched 3.1 innings, allowing two runs on five hits.

The Aggies advance to the semifinals where they face No. 3 seeded Seattle U on Friday, May 12, at 1:30 p.m. (MT).