NMSU Softball Falls To No. 20 Arkansas 5-4

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The Aggies put up a thrilling fight against the nationally ranked Razorbacks, but it ended in heartbreak.

#20 Arkansas rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh, clipping NM State, 5-4, Saturday evening in front of a crowd of 994 at the Softball Complex.

Facing their second Power Five opponent in three days, the Aggies threw the first punch.

Back-to-back-to-back home runs in the second inning by freshman Ramsay Lopez, sophomore Casie Roberto and freshman Matalasi Faapito electrified the crowd, as the Aggies took a commanding 3-0 lead in the span of six pitches.

After Lopez and Roberto went back-to-back with no-doubters to left center, Faapito swung at the very first pitch she saw and also drilled one over the wall in left center.

Her homer knocked Arkansas starter Mary Haff out of the game after only an inning of work, as the Aggies had opened a three-run lead before recording a single out in the second inning.

Faapito, meanwhile, was cruising in the circle, holding the Razorbacks scoreless until the fifth. Arkansas cut the lead to 3-1 in the frame before tacking on a second run in the sixth and knocking her out of the game.

Ahead 3-2 in the top of the seventh, the Aggies were three outs away from a statement win and turned the ball over to sophomore Chloe Rivas for the third time in as many days.

Arkansas, howver, had other plans. The Razorbacks added three runs in the top half of the inning to take a 5-3 lead.

NM State scored on a throwing error in the bottom of the seventh to make it 5-4 and brought the winning run to the plate, but ultimately could not pull off the comeback.

On tonight’s game
"Arkansas is one of the best in the country, so I think it’s definitely a team that we want to be able to match up against. We played some tremendous softball tonight. They were able to capitalize late in the game, but we almost were able to come back. This is a fighting group.”

On how the team will respond from the setback
"It won’t wound us. We will get stronger and be better from it.”

On the Aggies’ outlook for the season
“This is going to be one of the most exciting teams that’s ever played here.”

NM State wraps up the Troy Cox Classic tomorrow against Battle of I-10 rival UTEP (0-3). First pitch is set for 2 p.m.