LAS CRUCES, N.M.— The New Mexico State softball team closed out the three-game series with I-10 rival UTEP on Tuesday, March 25 with a 14-3 win to go 2-1 in the series. NM State took the win in five innings to break a four-game losing streak and improve to 18-15 on the season.
Sophomore Fiana Finau went 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles in the game and an RBI on each, while junior Staci Rodriguez notched her 11th home run of the season with a solo shot over the centerfield wall. She finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBI and a walk.
Redshirt sophomore Karysta Donisthorpe worked three innings and picked up the win in the circle for the Aggies. She threw two strikeouts in the game before sophomore Makayla McAdams came in to close the game by pitching the final two frames and allow zero hits and strike one out to end the game.
The Aggies took the lead early in the fir inning with a pair of RBI singles by juniors Kelsey Dodd and Malena Padilla. Dodd singled up the right line to score the first run of the day after UTEP allowed the bases to walk loaded. Padilla would come up with a single to the left side to score the second run.
UTEP answered the Aggies with a two run inning in the top of the second. Leadoff batter Ashley Eldridge started off with a two-base hit to center field. After a fly out to second base, UTEP tied the game with a two run homer from sophomore infielder Kawehiokalani Netane.
NM State had a huge bottom half of the second, scoring five runs off five hits. Rodriguez led the inning off with a single to center, advancing to second on a walk. That brought up Finau, who had a two RBI double to center field, followed by a single from Dodd to drive in four runners. The final run of the second would come when Emma Adams recorded her first hit of the day with a single to center, bringing Dodd around for a 7-2 Aggie lead.
The Miners would see their last run of the night in the third after Donisthorpe walked in a run after giving up two hits and two walks.
The Aggies had their most productive inning in the bottom of the third, going through eight batters. Rodriguez had a leadoff homer run; a solo shot over center field to get things going. Two errors and two walks loaded the bases for the Aggies and brought up Dodd who took the out at first in order to score a run for NM State.
Padilla came to the plate for her second RBI single of the game before Adams stepped to the plate and did the same, making it an 11-3 game. The final run of the inn inning would come when senior Alyssa Ruiz hit a two-run homer, driving in Adams.
NM State sealed the game with another run in the fourth, making the 14-3 win final in just five innings.
The Aggies continue at home but open Western Athletic Conference play against Seattle U on Friday, March 28 at 6 p.m. The Redhawks and the Aggies then finish the three-game series on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. The first game on Saturday is set to be aired on the AggieVision Network on NMStateSports.com.