NMSU Softball Drops Series Finale With No. 17/13 Kentucky

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State softball fell to No. 17 Kentucky in the series finale on Sunday at the NM State Softball Complex. Despite taking an early lead in the second inning, NM State fell to the Wildcats 10-2.

"Overall, I think it was a great weekend. Having the opportunity to play a top-ranked team gave us the chance to evaluate where we are and where we want to be," head coach Kathy Rodolph said. "I believe we did a lot of things right this weekend. The series gave us the opportunity to identify some things that we need to work on before we play again but I'm very proud of the overall effort from our team this weekend. "

Samaria Diaz earned the start in the circle for the Aggies (2-1). The sophomore hit trouble early when she gave up a single followed by hitting a batter with two outs in the inning. A double to left field by Kentucky (1-2) scored the first run of the day, putting NM State behind 1-0 before the team's first at bat.

After posting a scoreless first, a single up the middle for Amy Bergeson got the Aggie offense started in the bottom of the second. Destiny Blueford brought Bergeson home when the sophomore hit a home run out to right center field for her first long ball of the season.

The 2-1 advantage for New Mexico State was short-lived as Diaz continued to struggle in the top of the third. The right-handed pitcher gave up a two-run homer to Abbey Cheek of UK, putting NM State behind 3-2.

After a scoreless bottom of the inning for the Aggies, Rodolph made a change in the circle with a pair of outs on the board. Analise De La Roca came in to relieve Diaz in the circle and closed out the scoreless inning. Despite the scoreless outing from the pitchers, the NM State offense could not find its rhythm in the bottom of the inning and the Aggies went down in order to close out the fourth.

In the fifth, De La Roca struggled when she gave up a two-run blast to center field, extending the NM State deficit. After a scoreless sixth inning by both teams, the freshmen gave up a pair of homers to the Wildcats and the Aggies trailed 10-2 with only three outs left.

New Mexico State went down in order to close the series with the ranked Wildcats, falling 10-2 in the game. Diaz was credited with her first loss of the season. The sophomore pitched 3.2 innings, giving up six hits, one earned run and striking out a pair of batters.

For their next contests, New Mexico remains at home as the team hosts the annual Troy Cox Classic. The Aggies face Boston U and Ball State at the tournament. NM State opens the Classic against the two-time defending national champions Oklahoma on Friday, Feb 18, at 1:30 p.m. MT.