LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State softball team went 2-0 on the Friday, April 11 with a 7-5 win in game one over CSU Bakersfield and then came back for an 8-1 win in game two. The Aggies combined for 27 hits on the day with four home runs and 15 RBI. The team improves to 25-16 on the year and 7-1 in Western Athletic Conference play.
Leading the day was junior Lacey Rother as she went 5-for-5 with two runs and five RBI. She had a home run in each game and came up with a couple of stellar plays on defense. She also picked up the first intentional walk of the season.
The Aggie pitching staff held things together with sophomore Makayla McAdams and redshirt sophomore Karysta Donisthorpe each earning a win, while senior reliever Celisha Walker earned a save in game one. The trio allowed just three earned runs between the two games.
The Roadrunners started the game off swinging with four straight hits, scoring three runs after a passed ball to the Aggie catcher advanced two runners. NM State was able to get out of the inning, but not until Bakersfield got another hit to drive in a total of four runs.
The next one and a half innings produced little offense for either team, but it was the bottom half of the fourth that saw NM State put runs on the board. Bakersfield threatened again in the top of the inning, with a lead-off single followed by a fielding error and two sacrifice bunts had runners at third and second, but a ground out to first ended the inning.
NM State would come roaring back in the bottom of the fourth with a lead-off home run from sophomore Brennalyn Nakamura. After the solo shot, the Aggies managed to go through their entire batting order, recording five hits and a walk, leading to three more runs to tie the game 4-4.
After a scoreless fifth inning for Bakersfield, the Aggies had another big inning, sending nine to the plate again. After a walk to start the inning, Rother hit a deep ball over the left field wall to drive in two runs. Following the home run, two more Aggie hits and a walk lead to a score, putting NM State up 7-4.
In the sixth inning the Aggie reliever Celisha Walker stepped into the circle, striking out her first batter. The next three Roadrunner batters singled, driving in one run. Walker and the Aggies were able to get out of the inning before a third-base threat with a pair of fly outs.
The Aggies ended game one with 15 hits. Six of those came off Rother and Nakamura, while five Aggies saw a multi-hit game.
The second bout of the day started in favor of NM State earlyas McAdams would send CSUB away in order in the first inning and the Aggies would record a lead-off single by junior Staci Rodriguez. NM State lit up the board in the bottom half of the second when a double by sophomore Emma Adams and a single by sophomore Tatum Reedy put Aggies in scoring position with senior Kristi Covarrubia at the plate. The shortstop got a sacrifice hit to score Adams and Reedy was eventually brought around by a double by Rodriguez.
The Aggies held the 2-0 lead going into the third when Rother came to the plate for her second home run of the day. She smacked a rocket over the left center fence to make it a 3-0 game.
The Aggies continued on the hitting streak with four consecutive singles followed by a double to score four runs in the fourth. Keeping on track with her perfect game from the plate, Rother hit a two-run single up the left side in the fourth. She gave NM State a 5-0 lead over the Runners. The next two runs of the inning came off the double by sophomore slugger Fiana Finau.
NM State would let CSUB get on the board in the top of the fifth with a sacrifice fly after a walks and a single put runners on base. NM State did hold the Roadrunners to just four hits in the game as McAdams pitched her fourth complete game for a 9-3 record this season.
NM State’s final run of the night was a bomb over the scoreboard by junior Kelsey Dodd. She hit the rocket in the bottom half of the sixth with two outs, lifting NM State to the 8-1 victory.
The Aggies finish the home schedule on Saturday, April 12 with a single game against the Runners. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. on AggieVision and ESPN3.com. A recognition ceremony for the three Aggie seniors will follow the conclusion of the game.