Kansas City, Mo.—The New Mexico State softball team wrapped up its road series with the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Saturday, April 5, in Kansas City, Mo., with an 8-5 victory that won the series 2-1. This brings the Aggies’ overall record to 23-16 and 5-1 in Western Athletic Conference play.
Redshirt sophomore Karysta Donisthorpe got the start for the Aggies in the pitcher’s circle for the finale against UMKC, where she pitched three solid innings surrendering just one earned run and striking out four batters. Sophomore Makayla McAdams entered the game to pitch in the fourth inning but only pitched one inning as she gave up three hits to the six batters she faced. Senior Celisha Walker came in to pitch for the Aggies in the fifth and closed out the game, pitching three full innings and striking out one batter and allowing one run.
The Aggie offense was working as far as hits were concerned in Saturday’s contest, but the Aggies had some troubles bringing runners home. The team ended up with 12 hits on the day, led by sophomore Fiana Finau, who had three. Junior Staci Rodriguez went hitless on the day but did draw a walk and was hit by a pitch and came around to score both times she got on base.
The Aggies did not waste time getting started in game three as Rodriguez drew a walk and was brought in immediately when sophomore Brennalyn Nakamura hit a triple to right-center field. Nakamura was then brought in by junior Lacey Rother who got on with a single, giving the Aggies an early 2-0 lead.
Rother wasn’t done for the day as she gave the Aggies a boost in the fifth inning with a solo home run over the left field wall. This marked her second home run of the series and was the first run scored for the Aggies since the first inning.
The 'Roos scored one run in the second but then pushed three runs home in the fifth giving them a 4-3 lead heading into the sixth inning. UMKC loaded the bases and had no outs in the fifth when Walker was brought in to get the team out of the jam. She was able to limit the damage to three runs given up, keeping the Aggies in the game.
The Aggies were able to get one run in the sixth off a UMKC error to tie the game 4-4, but they were not able to get any more runs in the inning. The Aggie defense was able to keep the 'Roos off the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth sending the game into the final inning tied up 4-4.
NM State quickly loaded the bases in the seventh with no outs after Rodriguez was hit by a pitch, Nakamura reached on a UMKC error and Rother drew a walk. A single by Finau scored Rodriguez from third and a sacrifice fly by junior Kelsey Dodd brought in Nakamura giving the Aggies had a 6-4 lead.
The Aggies weren’t done, however as two wild pitches brought home freshman Misty Ho’ohuli who had been brought in to run and was standing on second. A single by sophomore Tatum Reedy brought in Finau, extending the Aggies’ lead to 8-4.
Walker entered the bottom of the seventh with a four run lead but quickly found herself in trouble as the errors piled up for the defense who committed three in the final inning. The 'Roos lead-off hitter reached on an error and scored on another error three batters later, trimming NM State’s lead down 8-5.
The Aggie defense was able to settle down and get the next two outs allowing Walker to earn her strikeout for the final out of the game, sealing the victory 8-5. This earned Walker the win bringing her record to 6-5 on the season.
The Aggies will be back in action at home against Bakersfield on April 11-12. This will be the final home series of the 2014 season for NM State as they will finish up their season on the road.