NMSU Softball Sweeps UMKC

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State softball continued its Western Athletic Conference series with Kansas City at the NM State Softball Complex on Saturday. The Aggies took down the Roos 12-10 and 11-6 to complete the series sweep.

NM State (27-19, 9-6 WAC) drew first blood in the bottom of the opening frame when Victoria Castro hit a single that drove home Jeanelle Medina and Kelsey Horton from scoring position. The UMKC (25-24, 5-10 WAC) pitcher hit Nikki Butler with a pitch before Mya Felder got in on the action with a double that scored Castro for the 3-0 lead.

A groundout during Casie Roberto's at bat brought Butler home and a single by Kennedy Johnson drove home Felder, giving the squad the 5-0 advantage. Analise De La Roca and Sarai Mejia recorded back-to-back doubles for the 7-0 lead at the end of the first.

Starting pitcher De La Roca struck trouble in the top of the second, allowing a two-run home runs. During the next inning, the sophomore allowed a solo shot, leaving New Mexico State ahead 7-3.

NM State went scoreless in the bottom of the third and after De La Roca allowed a one-out single, head coach Kathy Rodolph went to Chloe Rivas in relief. The freshman allowed was unsuccessful, allowing a grand slam with two outs, tying the game.

In the top of the fifth, Rivas allowed a leadoff double and Rodolph went back to De La Roca in the circle. A single and a walk loaded the bases with two outs but De La Roca hit the next batter, putting NM State behind 8-7.

During the bottom of the frame, Felder drew a leadoff walk and Keala Brown pinch ran for the freshman and recorded a stolen base with Johnson at the plate. Johnson hit a single to left field, scoring the runner and tying the game. An error and fielder's choice followed before Medina broke up the stalemate with a double, allowing New Mexico State to take the 10-8 lead.

De La Roca began the sixth by allowing a leadoff double to the opposition. Samaria Diaz came in to relieve the sophomore and she gave up a run before a pair of strikeouts ended the Roos' at-bat.

Castro kept the momentum in favor of the Crimson and White with a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth. A double by Felder followed by a double by Johnson allowed NM State to take a 12-9 lead entering the final frame.

Diaz struggled in the seventh, allowing a double and a single to the first batters she faced. After recording a strikeout, the junior allowed an RBI single to Kansas City. However, UKMC's short rally fell short when Diaz struck out the final two batters to give the Aggies the 12-10 victory.

De La Roca went 4.1 innings in the victory to move to 7-4. She allowed five runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. Rivas had a strikeout when she pitched 0.2 innings and gave up four runs on three hits. Diaz picked up the save, going 2.0 innings with five strikeouts when she allowed one run on four hits.

Following a scoreless opening frame for both squads, Felder and Roberto started the bottom of the second with back-to-back singles. Johnson was next at the plate and the senior hit a long ball over the fence for the 3-0 NM State advantage. Singles by Mejia, Medina and Horton loaded the bases and a sacrifice fly by Castro extended New Mexico State's lead. Butler brought in a pair of runs when she reached on an error, putting the Aggies ahead 6-0 heading to the third.

However, New Mexico State struck trouble after a walk and an error put a pair of UMKC runners on base. A homer over the centerfield fence cut the Aggie lead in half before NM State's next at-bat.

In the third, the bats remained hot for the Aggies when Brandy Hernandez reached on a one-out single. Horton hit a home run of her own, putting New Mexico State ahead 8-3.

A quiet fourth for both teams followed but Kansas City posted a pair of runs in the fifth, leaving NM State ahead by just three.

Shelby Shultes brought life back to the New Mexico State offense with a one out single through the right side. Medina walked and an RBI single by Castro put the Aggies ahead 9-5 heading to the sixth.

A walk and a single for Kansas City put runners on the corners for the opposition. Diaz remained in the circle but a fielder's choice scored the sixth run for the Roos.

The bats stayed hot for the Aggies in the sixth when Felder started the inning with a double and Kayla Bowen brought her home with a single up the middle. An error when Johnson was at the plate scored the final run for NM State, giving the squad the 11-6 advantage.

Three outs away from sweeping the Roos, Diaz entered the circle and recorded a pair of outs before walking the next two batters. The junior got the final batter swinging to end the game and completed the squad's first conference sweep of the season.

Diaz moved to 12-8 with the victory, pitching a complete game. She allowed six runs with only three earned while also tying her season high 13 strikeouts.

New Mexico State welcomes No. 13 Texas Tech to the NM State Softball Complex for a midweek tilt. First pitch from the doubleheader on April 30 is set for 4 p.m. MT.