NMSU Softball Splits A Pair Of Games On Opening Day Of Troy Cox Classic

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State softball opened the Troy Cox Classic on Friday with games against Texas State and Bradley at the NM State Softball Complex. The Aggies took down the Bobcats 7-4 but came up short against the Braves falling, 4-3.

GAME ONE

NM State (5-1) got off to a hot start against TXST (3-3) when Victoria Castro opened the game with a two-run homer. Nikki Butler followed with a solo blast of her own and Kayla Bowen tallied her first ever collegiate homer, scoring a pair, to give New Mexico State the 5-0 advantage after the opening frame.

Starting pitcher Kayla Green hit trouble in the top of the second, allowing three runs to come in for the opposing Bobcats. However, in the bottom of the inning, Texas State made a critical fielding error that allowed an Aggie run to score and putting the team ahead by three.

After a scoreless third for both squads, an RBI single by the Bobcats cut the Aggie lead to two but Castro's second home run of the game gave the Aggies a 7-4 lead.

Green allowed the leadoff for TXST to reach in the top of the fifth and head coach Kathy Rodolph made a change in the circle, bringing in the sophomore Analise De La Roca. The pitcher put up a solid effort in the fifth but allowed a leadoff walk in the sixth.

Rodolph went to her bullpen yet again, bringing in Samaria Diaz to close out the game. The junior allowed a single to the second batter she faced but a strikeout and a pop out ended the frame. Needing just three out in the seventh to secure the win, Diaz remained calm in the circle during the seventh and a pop out to second base gave NM State the victory.

Green earned the win, pitching 4.0 innings and while allowing four runs on eight hits and striking out two. De La Roca pitched 1.0 innings while Diaz had 2.0 innings and record two strikeouts.

GAME TWO

New Mexico State fell behind early when starting pitcher Diaz allowed two runs to score, including a home run in the opening frame. After ending the second inning with a strikeout, the junior struggled again when she gave up a single and hit a batter in the third. Rodolph brought in the freshman Chloe Rivas to contain the Bradley (3-4) offense and despite allowing a single to her first batter, she was able to escape the inning without allowing the Braves to add a run.

In the bottom frame, an NM State rally began with a single from Brandy Hernandez. Castro also reached with a single, putting two on with just one out. Mya Felder grounded out in the next at-bat but was able to bring Hernandez home, cutting the deficit in half.

Following a scoreless fourth for both teams, a pinch hit double by Shelby Shultes brought life to the Aggie offense and a double by Castro tied the game 2-2. However, the lead did not last as Rivas hit the leadoff batter for Bradley before giving up a two-run homer to left field during the following inning.

Needing to rally down 4-2, New Mexico State's hopes remained alive with the top of the order coming to the plate. Kelsey Horton started frame with a single and a single by Felder followed. Kayla Bowen posted a clutch single up the middle, scoring Horton while leaving the team down by just a run. Alyssa Barela batted next and during her first time at the plate the season, the pinch hitter drew a walk, loading the bases. Kennedi Sorensen followed and with two outs already on the board, the NM State rally came up short when the catcher went down looking, concluding the 4-3 loss.

Rivas got the loss in the circle, allowing two runs on five hits. She also struck out a pair while walking a single batter. Diaz went 2.0 innings with two runs on four hits a single strikeout.

The Aggies continue the Troy Cox Classic with games against Montana and San Jose State on Saturday. The contest against the Griz is set for 1:30 and the game against the Spartans follows.