NMSU Softball Spits A Pair Of Games On Day Two At Mary Nutter Classic

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

CATHEDRAL CITY, CA - New Mexico State softball continued the Mary Nutter Classic with games against California and Missouri on Saturday. The Aggies topped the Bears 6-5 in 10 innings but were unable to produce a hit against the Tigers, falling 15-0 in just five innings..

GAME ONE

NM State (9-4) fell behind early when a single and a double led to the Cal (7-7) bringing home a run in the bottom of the third. In the top of the next frame, the Aggies countered with a rally when Kayla Bowen posted a two-out double to centerfield. Fellow freshmen Mya Felder followed her teammate with a home run out over the fence in center to give New Mexico State the 2-1 lead.

After a scoreless fifth for both teams, Kelsey Horton got the inning started with a double to center field. Victoria Castro followed by reaching on an error and Nikki Butler loaded the bases when she was hit by a pitch. With Felder at the plate, the keen eye by the freshman allowed her to draw a walk, bringing in a run. Kennedi Sorensen came in to pinch hit and brought in a run with a sacrifice fly, extending the team's advantage 4-1.

The New Mexico State squad continued to lead by three after a scoreless sixth for both teams. Starting pitcher Samaria Diaz came back to the circle for the final frame but after a pair of NM State error, two runners crossed the plate for Cal, leaving the Aggie lead to just a run. Kayla Green came in to pitch but another NM State error brought in the tying run. Following the play, Diaz reentered for New Mexico State but the damage was done and the team headed to extra innings tied 4-4.

In the top of the eighth with the international tiebreaker in effect, Butler put down a bunt to advance Castro to third. With a pair of outs on the board, Cal's infielder dropped an infield fly, allowing the senior to score from third.

Coming down to the bottom of the eighth with a 5-4 advantage, a single though the right side with only one out put runners on the corners for the opposition. A pair of singles followed, scoring a run but the Aggies were able to get out of the jam when a pop out and a line drive to Jeanelle Medina closed out the frame.

Following a scoreless ninth for both teams, NM State regained the lead in the 10th when Butler came up with an RBI double to centerfield. Looking to secure the 6-5 victory, Diaz once again went to the circle. A passed ball by the Aggie catcher Shelby Shultes allowed the runner on second to reach third without an out on the board. However, the junior pitcher got the Bear batters to pop out and ground out before she recorded a strikeout, helping the Aggies claim the win.

Diaz pitched all 10.0 innings with Green just facing a single batter. The junior allowed five runs on 13 hits with just one run earned. She struck out seven, tying her career best and moved to 3-1 in the circle.

GAME TWO

Both teams started with a pair of scoreless innings but the Aggies hit trouble in the bottom of the third when starting pitcher Analise De La Roca gave up a leadoff double to start inning. A single drove in a run and following an error by NM State, a double to centerfield cost New Mexico State another run. A single by the Tigers (9-5) put NM State behind 4-0 with just a one out recorded.

Head coach Kathy Rodolph made a change in the circle, bringing in Chloe Rivas to contain the Mizzou offense. The freshman struggled, allowing a pair of walks before a double and a single brought around four more runs, putting the Aggies behind 8-0. A three run homer out over the left field put NM State behind even further and the team looked to Green in the circle. With the senior pitching, the Tigers had four more runs cross the plate, extending the deficit for New Mexico State.

Trailing 15-0, the Aggies looked to get a runner on but went down in order during the fourth. In the fifth inning, Casie Roberto, Melika Ofoia and Sarai Mejia came to the plate. The each player went down swinging to end the contest, handing the team the 15-0 shutout.

De La Roca picked up the loss, moving the sophomore to 2-1 on the season. She went 2.1 innings and allowed five runs on four hits. Rivas faced six batters and gave up six runs on four hits. Green went 1.2 innings and had the Aggies lone strikeout during the outing where she allowed four runs on three hits.

NM State takes on Ohio State to close out the Mary Nutter Classic on Sunday, Feb. 24.. The contest with the Buckeyes is set for 10 a.m. MT.