NMSU Softball Splits Doubleheader at Cal Baptist

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

RIVERSIDE, CA - New Mexico State softball opened its series against California Baptist with a doubleheader at John C. Funk Stadium on Friday. The Aggies fell to the Lancers 5-2 in the series opener but took the second game 3-1.

NM State (20-16, 4-4 WAC) starting pitcher Samaria Diaz pitched a pair of scoreless innings before hitting trouble when CBU (17-25, 4-7 WAC) posted a triple in the third. The junior walked the next batter to put runners on the corners and a sacrifice bunt scored the player from third, putting New Mexico State behind by a run.

In their following at bat, the Aggies rallied with a pair of outs on the board when Mya Felder and Nikki Butler posted back-to-back singles. With runners on the corners, Chloe Rivas hit a shallow single to left field, scoring Felder from third.

A scoreless fifth for both teams followed before a single and a triple in the bottom of the sixth broke up the stalemate and put NM State behind 2-1.

Needing to rally, Rivas led off the seventh with a home run over the left field fence, tying the game once again. However, in the bottom of the frame, Diaz allowed a pair of singles before a three-run homer by California Baptist ended the 5-2 walk-off loss.

Diaz moved to 8-7 after allowing five runs on nine hits with six strikeouts during the contest where she pitched 6.1 innings.

After a scoreless pair of innings for both teams, Brandy Hernandez started the third by drawing a walk. Nikki Butler followed with two outs on the board and came away with a two-run homer over the right field fence, giving NM State its first lead of the day.

In the bottom of the following inning, starting pitcher Analise De La Roca allowed a leadoff home run to centerfield, cutting the advantage in half.

NM State was unable to add to its lead in the fifth and in the bottom of the frame, head coach Kathy Rodolph made a change in the circle after De La Roca gave up a double. Rodolph called on Kayla Green to contain the Lancers' offense and the senior forced the batter to ground out ending the fifth.

Both teams went scoreless in the sixth but in the seventh, Caity Szczesny began a rally when she reached on a two-base error. A groundout advanced the junior before Butler hit a single to right-center, driving home the insurance run.

Green came out for the final frame. The senior struck out all three batters she faced, ending the contest and giving the Aggies the 3-1 win.

De La Roca went 4.2 innings in the victory. The sophomore allowed one run on seven hits and just one walk. Green picked up her first save this season, eighth of her career, when she pitched 2.1 innings and recorded three strikeouts.

NM State closes the series against the Lancers with a twin bill on Saturday, April 13. First pitch scheduled for 11 a.m. MT.