Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State softball team split a doubleheader with Omaha on Friday night at the Softball Complex.
The Aggies hit six home runs on the day with two each from Ramsay Lopez and Nikki Butler. NM state and Omaha are set to play another doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 15, beginning at 2 p.m.
The two sides were locked in a tight battle early with Omaha’s Sydney Hampton and Matalasi Faapito going toe-to-toe in the circle. Trailing 1-0 in the 3rd, and with runners on first and third, Janelle Medina swiped second base and Caity Szczesny scored on throw down to second base to pull the Aggies even.
Then, Nikki Butler scored Medina on a sacrifice fly before Ramsay Lopez blasted a two-run home run to give NM State a 4-1 lead through three. The Aggies extended their lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth after Szczesny drew a bases loaded walk.
However, the Mavericks went on to score six runs in the top half of the seventh inning to take a 7-5 lead. Butler went yard to pull the Aggies within one but they were unable to plate the tying run and dropped game one 7-6.
After a heartbreaking end to game one, New Mexico State bounced back early in the second game. After a single from Hailey Tanori and a walk from Butler in the bottom of the first, Lopez crushed her second home run of the day, and the fifth of her freshman season, to give the Aggies an early 3-0 lead.
After a scoreless frame in the top of the second from Analise De La Roca, Tanori ripped a 1-0 pitch and turned on the jets for an inside the park home run that scored Casie Roberto for a 5-0 lead in the second. Gabby Aragon was then hit by a pitch before Butler stepped to the plate and launched her second home run of the day for a 7-0 Aggie lead through two.
The Mavericks scored one run in each of the third and fourth innings to make it 7-2. Then, with the bases juiced, Hope Banales laid down a sacrifice bunt that scored Kayla Bowen. After Omaha made it 8-4 in the fifth, Faapito turned on one and hit her fifth home run of the season, a two-run jack and shut down the Mavericks in the seventh for a 10-4 win.
COACH RODOLPH’S TAKE
On bouncing back from game one
“I feel like in game one, Omaha played very well, I just feel like we didn’t make the stops. We got ourselves together in game two and decided we were going to be much more intentional about our at-bats and our pitches and our defense and we did that in game two.”
On freshman slugger Ramsay Lopez
“Ramsay is an outstanding player and I feel like sometimes we put a little bit more pressure on her than we should as a freshman but she absolutely accepts the challenge. She’s a special kid, I love to see her at the plate with the game on the line because I know that we’re going to get a tough battle in the box.
“Omaha came in ready to play, they knew that they needed to battle. We had a great opening weekend but what I explained to the kids is last weekend didn’t buy us anything, we have to play every single game.”
On her squad heading into tomorrow’s doubleheader
“I’ve asked them to come out with strong, assertive energy and to be responsible once they put on that uniform. They understand that they’re coming to a battle and to expect a battle. In order for us to come out on top, we’re going to have to play well together.”
The Aggies wrap up their four-game series with the Mavericks with a double-header starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Softball Complex.