Seattle, Wash. – The New Mexico State softball team defeated Seattle U in an elimination game, 5-3, at the 2014 WAC Softball Tournament. The Aggies move to 30-22 on the season and will face Kansas City in the final game of the day, also an elimination game.
The Aggies scored five runs on six hits, led by Malena Padilla, who started the Aggie scoring with a grand slam in the first inning. Padilla had a hit, a run and four RBI in the game. Fiana Finau recorded two hits and scored two runs for the Aggies as well. Brennalyn Nakamura, Kelsey Dodd and Alyssa Ruiz each added a hit for the Aggies.
Karysta Donisthorpe got the win for NM State and moves to 11-10 on the season, pitching five innings, allowing three runs on four hits, while striking out five batters. Celisha Walker was credited with the save, her fourth of the season.
Adams would walk in the top of the first with one out. Rodriguez then struck out looking, before Finau hammered a double off the left field wall, placing runners on second and third with two outs. Rother then drew a walk to load the bases with two outs in the inning. Padilla then stepped to the plate and hit a grand slam to right field, giving NM State a 4-0 lead. It was the fifth homerun of the season for Padilla.
Right-handed pitcher Donisthorpe struck out two batters and forced a ground out to end the first inning as the Aggies maintained a 4-0 lead.
Ruiz hit a single to left field and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Covarrubia, starting off the top of the second for the Aggies. Brennalyn Nakamura then singled to center field, placing runners at the corners and one out. Adams, who walked to start the Aggie scoring in the first inning, bunted to advance B. Nakamura to second, as Ruiz remained at third. Rodriguez then flied out to center, ending the NM State threat.
Donisthorpe retired the Seattle U batters in the bottom of the inning, 1-2-3, as the Aggies continued to hold a 4-0 lead.
Finau singled to left to start the top of the third for the Aggies. Rother then hit a long fly ball to center for the first out of the inning. Padilla was then out after a diving play by the right fielder. Finau then stole second with two outs. Dodd singled to left center, scoring Finau from second, extending the Aggie lead to 5-0. Ruiz then popped up to the short stop for the third out of the inning, but not before NM State added to its lead with one run, making it 5-0.
The Aggies faced four batters in the bottom of the third with no damage done, as NM State continued to hold a 5-0 lead.
Covarrubia and B. Nakamura walked to start the top of the fourth for NM State, placing runners at first and second with no outs. Adams then struck out swinging before Rodriguez reached on an error by the third baseman, loading the bases with one out. Finau then hit a bouncer back to the pitcher, hitting into a double play, closing out the inning with no runs scored. The Aggies continued to lead 5-0 after three and a half.
Donisthorpe retired the Seattle U batters in the bottom of the inning, 1-2-3 for the second time in the game, as the Aggies continued to hold a 5-0 lead.
Rother drew a lead-off walk to start the top of the fifth, as Chelsea Dohrwardt pinch ran for Rother. Padilla then hit a grounder to the short stop, as Dohrwardt was out at second on the force. Padilla though would round first and try to make second after a bad throw to first base but was tagged out for the second out of the inning. Dodd then hit a high fly ball to center field, as the Seattle U center fielder made an amazing diving catch for the third out. NM State still led 5-0.
Seattle U led the bottom of the inning with a double to center field. It was just the second hit of the game for the Redhawks. Then with two outs in the inning, Seattle U put runners on the corners, threating to score for the first time in the game. A single to right scored the runner from third, making it 5-1 with two outs and runners still on the corners. Another double by the Redhawks scored two runs, cutting into the Aggies lead at 5-3, still with two outs. A long fly ball to the right field wall ended the fifth inning but not before Seattle U scored three runs to make it a game.
The Aggies would go down in order in the top of the sixth but still led 5-3. Celisha Walker would then replace Donisthorpe in the circle. Donisthorpe pitched five innings, allowing three runs on four hits, walking one and striking out five batters.
Walker would help put out the Redhawks momentum, taking down the first three batters in the bottom of the sixth, as the Aggies enter the last inning of the game up two runs at 5-3.
Adams grounded out to second to start the top half of the inning for the Aggies. Rodriguez then reached on an error by the short stop with one out. Finau then hit into a double play for the second time in the game. Going into the bottom of the seventh, NM State led 5-3.
Walker again mowed down the Redhawk batters in the bottom of the seventh, giving the Aggies the 5-3 win.
The Aggies will now play at approximately 8 p.m. against Kansas City in the second elimination game of the game for NM State. Listen to Jay Sanderson of KGRT 570 AM.