NMSU Softball Splits Doubleheader At Utah Valley

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

OREM, UT - The New Mexico State softball team closed out its series Western Athletic Conference opponent Utah Valley on Saturday from Wolverine Field. NM State evened the series with the 5-3 victory in the opening contest of the doubleheader but fell to the Wolverines 7-6 in the series finale.

GAME ONE

After a scoreless inning for both squads, the Aggies (24-20, 9-3 WAC) fell behind in the bottom of the second when Analise De La Roca allowed a double and a home run to UVU (16-23, 7-4). However, NM State cut the deficit in half in the following frame when Fahren Glackin hit a solo home run over the centerfield fence.

Trailing 2-1 in the top of the fifth, the Aggies rallied, beginning with a single by Jeanelle Medina and a walk to Rachel Rodriguez. Kelsey Horton's fly out advanced both runners into scoring position before an RBI single by Glackin tied the game. With runners on the corners, Victoria Castro grounded out for the second out of the at-bat but Rodriguez scored on the play, giving the Aggies their first lead of the contest. Nikki Butler brought home the final New Mexico State runs in the frame when the sophomore hit her eighth homer of the season, putting NM State ahead 5-2.

Following a scoreless sixth inning for both teams, UVU looked to rally in the bottom of the seventh when the team tallied a pair of singles with an out on the board. Kayla Green came in to pitch for the New Mexico State and looked to close out the game but an error by the Aggies scored a Wolverines runner. It was the final run of the contest and NM State evened the series with the 5-3 victory.

De La Roca improved to 8-3 as she pitched 6.1 innings and allowed three runs on six hits and struck out two batters. Green pitched 0.2 innings and picked up her first save of the season, which is also the seventh of the junior's career.

GAME TWO

Green earned the start in the circle for the series finale against the Wolverines but gave up a leadoff double to start the game. Head Coach Kathy Rodolph made the decision to bring in Samaria Diaz and the sophomore struck out three-straight batters to end the first.

After another scoreless inning for both squads, NM State came ahead early when a pair of singles and a fielder's choice loaded the bases. Glackin came up clutch with a single that score a pair of runs and advanced to second on the throw from the UVU centerfielder. With Aggies on second and third, Butler brought in a pair of runs with a single of her own, giving New Mexico State the 4-0 advantage.

NM State's momentum carried into the following frame as Caity Szczesny hit an inside-the-park home run to start the fourth. Amy Bergeson followed the sophomore with a double and a single by Sarai Mejia brought the senior home to extend the Aggies' 6-0 lead.

However, in the bottom of the fourth Diaz hit trouble when she allowed a two-out single to the Wolverines. A two-run homer by Caragh Morris followed but it was the final run the sophomore allowed in the inning. In the following frame, Diaz allowed a two-out double and a pair of singles, scored the fourth unanswered run by Utah Valley.

Leading 6-4, New Mexico State struggled in the sixth when a leadoff single followed by another home run by Morris tied the contest. Mikayla Bongi came in, relieving Diaz after the homer, and the freshmen closed out the inning with a pair of strikeouts. In the bottom of the seventh, Bongi allowed a one-out double followed by a single that scored the game-winning run for the Wolverines

Bongi moved to 0-1 with the loss as the freshman pitched 1.1 innings and allowed one run on four hits while striking out a pair of UVU batters. Diaz tied her career strikeouts record in the contest when the sophomore struck out seven batters in her 5.0 innings of work where she also allowed six runs on nine hits

The Aggies return home for their final series in conference play as NM State gets set to host Seattle U in a special Senior Weekend. New Mexico State battles the Redhawks at 6 p.m. MT on Friday, April 27 and the squad follows the contest with a doubleheader to close out the series, beginning at 4 p.m.