NMSU Softball Drops A Pair At Troy Cox Classic

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State softball opened the Troy Cox Classic with a pair of loses at the NM State Softball Complex on Saturday. The Aggies fell to Ball State 3-2 and No. 1 Oklahoma 2-0 in tournament action.

"We had some great battles today but we need to make sure we stay true to our approach and continue to attack in the ways that we practice," head coach Kathy Rodolph said. "We need multiple contributions from everyone. No load is too heavy if everyone lifts."

GAME ONE

In the first game against Ball State (5-2), Samaria Diaz got the start in the circle, posting a pair of scoreless innings to start the tournament. The NM State (2-3) offense backed the sophomore in the top of the third when Jeanelle Medina started the inning with a bunt single. Fahren Glackin brought the runner home on a booming double, scoring the first run of the game. Kelsey Horton followed and was able to bring the senior home, giving the Aggies the 2-0 advantage.

The lead did not last as the Cardinal offense got started with a two-out single by Haley Dominique. Back-to-back home runs for Ball State did damage to the New Mexico State lead and put the Aggie squad behind by a run.

In the top of the fourth, New Mexico State looked to get its offense going when Shelby Shultes hit a one-out single through the left side. However, it was the only hit of the inning and the Aggies stranded the runner.

Diaz battled in the circle, allowing just one hit after the third inning. However it was not enough as the NM State offense struggled at the plate and the team picked up its second loss of the season, falling 3-2. Diaz moves to 0-2, pitching a complete game and allowing four hits, three runs and striking out seven batters.

GAME TWO

Offensive woes continued to plague the New Mexico State squad when the team faced the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners (6-1). Kayla Green earned the start in the circle and quickly found herself in trouble as a walk, a single, and a hit batter quickly loaded the bases with no outs in the inning.

NM State's defense stood strong and the Aggies recorded back-to-back outs, hoping to keep the game scoreless. However, OU posted the first run of the game when Sydney Romero hit a ball back to Green, scoring the runner from third. It was the only run the junior pitcher allowed in the inning as she closed out the first with a strikeout.

After a scoreless second by both squads, Green struggled again in the top of the third when she gave up a leadoff single to Nicole Mendes, The OU runner was brought home on a two out single by Romero, extending Oklahoma's advantage.

New Mexico State's offensive woes continued against OU with each batter going down in order. It took until the fourth inning for NM State to get a hit against Oklahoma pitcher Paige Parker when Rachel Rodriguez doubled to left center. Victoria Castro was able to advance the senior to third on a groundout, but Rodriguez's journey around the bases ended there as Nikki Butler popped out to the Sooner shortstop, ending the inning.

Both Green and Parker battled it out in the circle with each pitcher throwing scoreless inning after scoreless inning. With the Aggies down to their final three outs, Rodriguez reached base with a single to left field. Castro followed with a hard-hit ball, but a catch by the OU right fielder recorded the first out of the inning. Oklahoma followed by turning a double play, handing New Mexico State its second loss of the tournament.

Green falls to 2-1 this season with the Aggies 2-0 loss to top-ranked OU. The sophomore pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on seven hits and striking out a single Sooner batter. The Aggie defense turned three double plays in the loss while Oklahoma only posted one.

NM State closes out the Troy Cox Classic with a contest against Boston University beginning on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 9 a.m.