LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State softball team went 2-0 on day two of the Troy Cox Classic with a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the seventh for a 4-3 win over Northern Colorado and a walk-off single RBI for a 5-4 win over Iowa State. NM State improves to 4-5 on the season.
The Aggies got 23 hits on the day with 12 against Northern Colorado and 11 versus Iowa State. Sophomore third baseman Emma Adams went 3-for-3 in game one, while senior catcher Alyssa Ruiz went 2-3 in game two for the Aggies.
In the first game for the Aggies, it took until the fifth inning for either team to plate a run. UNC scored first with two in the top of the fifth. Two base hits and a fielding error scored two, but the Aggies stranded three Bears on base to end the inning.
NM State stayed silent with just one hit in their half of the fifth and had a base hit by sophomore Staci Rodriguez and sophomore Fiana Finau in the sixth. One of Adam’s hits also came in the inning, but NM State could not plate a run until the home half of the seventh.
UNC scored its third run of the game off a single RBI up the middle to bring in the runner on second. In the seventh frame, the Bears had one runner reach base, but the Aggie defense held UNC from making a play with two groundouts and a strikeout by sophomore Makayla McAdams.
In the home half of the seventh, bases were loaded with Aggies off a walk and a pair of base hits. With one out, Rodriguez came to the plate a walk-off grand slam, good for her first home run of the season to elevate the Aggies to a 4-3 win over the Bears.
The NM State pitching staff combined for six strikeouts, five coming from redshirt sophomore Karysta Donisthorpe, who pitched four innings and allowed just three hits and no runs.
Game two of the day saw NM State go up early with a run in the bottom half of the first. Nakamura and Rodriguez reached base on a couple of singles and Nakamura plated the run on a wild pitch after advancing to third on a fly out by Finau.
Iowa State scored one in their half of the third. The runner reached on an error and rounded the bases of a single and a sacrifice fly out to left field.
NM State took the lead in the bottom of the third with a solo shot over the left center field fence by Rodriguez, giving the junior two home runs on the day. The next two runs came off the bat of junior Kelsey Dodd when she hit a two-run bomb over the left side.
The Cyclones took over the lead 4-3 in the seventh with a two-run home run of their own. The Aggies went to the plate for the last time and Ruiz reached on a single to right. She stole second and was brought around for the game-winning run by a single up the middle by sophomore Brennalyn Nakamura.
Senior hurler Celisha Walker went the distance in the win, pitching four strikeouts and allowing just three earned runs.
The Aggies conclude the Troy Cox Classic on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 1:30 p.m. versus Texas Tech.