NMSU Softball Falls To Saint Francis In NCAA Regional; Season Comes To A Close

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

TUCSON, AZ - New Mexico State softball fell to Saint Francis (Pa,) 8-4 on Saturday, ending NM State's postseason run. The Aggies finished the season with a 29-25 overall record.

How it happened

NM State came out hot in the top of the first when Kelsey Horton and Victoria Castro reached with one out in the inning. Fahren Glackin brought in the first run of the game with a single up the middle. After Caity Szczesny was hit by a pitch, Kaitlyn Rubio and Haley Nakamura hit back-to-back singles, giving New Mexico State a 4-0 advantage.

Kayla Green earned the start in the circle and pitched a three scoreless innings for NM State, allowing one hit while striking out three SFU batters before hitting trouble in the fourth. Green walked two batters with one out in the inning. A fielder's choice put runners on the corners with two outs. The sophomore pitcher got out of trouble by striking out the Red Flash to end the fourth inning.

After a scoreless fifth inning for the Aggies, Green gave up a leadoff double to Saint Francis in the bottom of the inning. New Mexico State made a change in the circle with freshman Samaria Diaz coming in to pitch. SFU's Halle Marion hit a single to put runners on the corners. A sacrifice fly scored the Red Flash's first run of the game. After Diaz walked the next batter, Green replaced Diaz, and walked another SFU player, loading the bases. Sierra McKee followed with a grand slam which gave Saint Francis a 5-4 lead.

In the sixth, SFU a hit two-run homer and a solo blast, giving the Red Flash an 8-4 advantage. The Aggies were down to their final three outs when Glackin reached on a fielder's choice, Szczesny and Rubio singled loading the bases with two away in the inning. Nakamura hit into a fielder's choice, ending the game and NM State's season.
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The Western Athletic Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champions finished the season with a 29-25 overall record. Nikki Butler ended the season with the single season record for hit-by-pitch (13). Kayla Green finished the season with four saves this season, tying the single season record.

WAC Player of the Year Kelsey Horton finished the season with her name in the NM State single season record books. She finished third in batting average (.415), third in slugging percentage (.799), tied for fifth in home runs (16), and total bases (131).

Quotable:

Head Coach Kathy Rodolph

On the experience…

"I feel like there were only a few kids that had the experience of playing at [NCAA] Regionals. When you come into [Rita] Hillenbrand Stadium and it's an electric crowd, you have to be able to keep your hype meter at the appropriate level. I feel like the experience will fuel us all summer long and I think it will point us in the right direction."

#15 Misty Hoohuli

On her senior season at NM State…

"We were so blessed to end our careers with this group of girls. They always had our backs no matter what. They were the definition of unselfish and that's what we preached all year."

#8 Haley Nakamura

On her senior season at New Mexico State…

"The Young Guns really stepped up and carried us this season. I wasn't all on [Misty and I] this season. I really appreciate that, from the freshman all the way up to the juniors."