LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State softball team split on the final day of the Troy Cox Classic with a 9-2 win over Colorado State in the first game of the day and a 5-3 loss to Texas tech in extra innings on Sunday afternoon at the NM State Softball Complex. The Red Raiders broke up a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning courtesy of the international tiebreaker rule that placed a runner at second to start the eighth inning.
On the day, the Aggies tallied 20 total hits between the two games as Malena Padilla and Staci Rodriguez each picked up four in the double bill. The Aggies are now 7-4 on the season, while finishing the Troy Cox Classic 3-3.
"Overall, it was a good weekend. We grew, got better and are continuing to get better with every game," head coach Kathy Rodolph said. "We are learning to play under pressure and learning what it means to be in those really close ball games. Each piece of the puzzle is getting better, and I am pleased with that. Wins and losses don't always show you that, but I definitely feel it with our team."
In the first game of the day, Amber Olive led the way with a three-base shot to right center, before Kristi Covarrubia lined out to the pitcher. Rodriguez was next to the plate and hit her first single of the day to plate the first run for NM State. Lacey Rother and Tina Cisneros reached base to bring Padilla to the plate, who hit a bomb to the left side to plate three runs for NM State. With Kelsey Dodd next at the plate, she hit a solo homerun to give the Aggies a 5-0 lead going into the top of the second.
The Aggies sent Colorado State down in order in the top half of the second inning, then came back with freshman Emma Adams leading off. She took her base after getting hit in the shoulder and was brought into scoring position by a single by Olive.
In the home half of the third, Dodd and senior Tehani Kaaihue hit back-to-back doubles with Kaaihue's shot to center scoring Dodd. NM State was able to stop the Rams from crossing the plate after three runners reached base. An RBI double by Rodriguez in bottom of fourth scored the Aggies eighth run after NM State gave up a two-run homerun in the top half of the inning.
Covarrubia drove in the ninth run of the day for NM State by putting the ball in play to shortstop in the latter part of the fifth. A bad throw by CSU worked to the Aggies advantage as Olive plated her second run of the game and secured the Aggie win.
Senior Alex Newman made the start for NM State and worked for 2.1 innings before freshman Makayla McAdams took the job in the circle. McAdams worked for the remainder of the game and put CSU away in order off strikeouts in the top of the sixth.
Newman started the second game for NM State as well and worked seven complete innings with one strikeout and four earned runs. She finished the day with 9.1 innings to her name and the owner of a 3.00 ERA on the day. She took the loss in game two, moving her hurling record to 4-3, while boasting a 2.60 ERA through her nine appearances.
The senior was perfect through the first two innings, sitting Texas Tech down in order through both innings. She retired the first two in the second inning before allowing the first hit of the day from the cleanup hitter, Cara Camello with a shot up the left line.
The Aggies picked up the first run of the game with a single RBI by Rodriguez, her fourth on the day, to score Amber Olive in the bottom of the third. Olive got a base hit in the first, but reached on a fielding error before she plated the run.
The Red Raiders evened the score at one apiece in the fourth and came back for another run in the fifth for a 2-1 lead over the Aggies. Kaaihue scored the Aggies tying run at the bat of Alyssa Ruiz' standing double to right center in the bottom half of the inning.
Both teams plated a run to keep the score knotted at 3-3 in the seventh and send the game into extra innings. The international tiebreaker rule put a runner at second as Texas Tech came up with an RBI single to center for a 4-3 lead. TTU scored the winning run off a double to left to bring in the runner at second.
NM State now looks at a week of rivalry games as the Aggies host the New Mexico Lobos for the second time this season on Feb. 19. After the second of the three-game series against the rivals to the north, the Aggies play two days of doubleheaders beginning on Saturday, Feb. 23 in El Paso Texas. NM State battles southern rival UTEP each day as well as South Dakota.