EL PASO, TEXAS (Feb. 23) - The New Mexico State softball team proved successful with two wins on Saturday, Feb. 23, as part of the Aggies first road trip of the 3012 season. NM State earned a 1-0 win over University of South Dakota and came back to a true rivalry battle with a 5-4 win over UTEP in extra innings.
Now with a 9-5 season record, the Aggies finished the day with seven strikeouts from right-hand pitcher Alex Newman. The senior threw the complete game for the Aggies and held the Coyotes to just three single-base hits on the game. She also worked for the final three innings of the rivalry game.
"It was great to get a couple of wins on the road," head coach Kathy Rodolph said. "We had a lot of players contribute in both games and our pitching staff did a great job for us. Tomorrow is going to be another exciting day."
As the Aggies met South Dakota, each team was scoreless through the first three innings of play with matching singles in the first and third innings. Senior Teresa Conrad got her first of six hits on the day with a double in the top of the second inning, but was left stranded.
It took until the top of the fourth for the Aggies to light up the scoreboard. A single to right field by freshman Emma Adams put Chelseas Dohrwardt in scoring position after she entered the game a pinch runner. An error by the South Dakota catcher resulted in Adams advancing to second and score Dohrwardt.
The Aggies were about to hold that lead through the remainder of the game while allowing just one more Coyote hit in the bottom of the seventh.
The Aggies had six hits in the first game of the day with two by Conrad. The senior finished with three hits on the day and plated a run in the later game against UTEP.
In game two of the day, the Aggies battled through extra innings before coming up with a 5-4 win over the Miners. It started off with a two-run bomb in the top of the first by Staci Rodriguez and a base hit by Malena Padilla that scored Conrad and gave the Aggies a 3-0 lead in the first half inning.
The Aggies held UTEP scoreless in the bottom half of the inning, but the Miners were able to get on the board with a two-run home run of their own by senior Kayleigh Walts in the bottom of the second.
UTEP tied the score 3-3 in the bottom of the third with a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases before the Miners freshman Kawehi Natane hit an RBI single up the middle to plate the run.
The Aggies picked up two hits of their own in the fourth, but an unearned run by the Miners set the Aggies back 4-3 going into the fifth. Junior Kristi Covarrubia reached base on a walk, and a single to the right side by Rodriguez moved Covarrubia into scoring position. Another walk to the Miners loaded the bases and sophomore Lacey Rother picked up an RBI off a sacrifice fly that scored the runner on third.
The teams were locked at 4-4 going into the final inning, but a double by Rother in the top half of the seventh was not enough to push the Aggies into the win. It was the top half of the extra-inning eighth that gave the Aggies the second win over the Miners as Padilla hit a solo home run to give the Aggies a 5-4 win over UTEP.
NM State continues in El Paso on Sunday as the team meets South Dakota and UTEP to wrap the weekend. First pitch of the USD game is set for 10 a.m. with the final Battle of I-10 getting underway at 2:30 p.m.