LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State softball team dropped its first conference game to No. 23 Fresno State, 9-1, at the NM State Softball Complex Friday night.
NM State (27-12, 6-1 WAC) opened the game with two errors that allowed Fresno State to score its first run. The Aggies never recovered as Fresno State (23-9, 7-0 WAC) starter Michelle Moses shut down the NM State offense. Moses allowed just four hits on the night not allowing a base hit until the bottom of the third. FS remained undefeated in league play by posting nine runs on 12 hits in the five-inning win.
"I think we played tentatively tonight," said head coach Kathy Rodolph. "We need to be more aggressive both in the circle and at the plate against a good team like Fresno State.
Sophomore Alex Newman started in the circle for the Aggies forcing two ground outs to begin the game but two Aggie errors helped fill the bases allowing Fresno State to score an unearned run for a 1-0 lead.
Moses retired the Aggies in order in the bottom of the frame.
The Bulldogs added three in the top of the second. Again the Aggies posted two outs with just a runner at second but a single scored one run and a home run blast by Moses provided a pair of RBI for a 4-0 FS lead after two.
Fresno State added more runs in the third. After one out, FS hit three consecutive singles to load the bases. The Aggies recorded out number two at home on a fielder's choice. Moses helped her cause again with an RBI single up the middle. A Bulldog double followed, scoring two more for a 7-0 advantage.
The Aggies made a pitching change as senior Alex Villalobos came into the circle in relief of Newman. Villalobos committed a balk to allow a run to score and the runner to move to third before recording the final out of the inning on a pop-up.
Down 8-0, Aggie Kylie Randall notched the Aggies' first hit of the game with a two-out single. But Moses was able to get out of the inning with the lead intact.
Villalobos allowed a lone base runner in the top of the fourth on a walk.
NM State scored its only run of the game on a solo home run to left field by junior Tiare Jennings to open the inning. Senior Ashley Maroda followed with a single to left field then moved to second on a wild pitch but NM State could not bring another run across.
The Bulldogs started the fifth with a single and a double to score its final run of the game.
Randall singled again in the bottom of the fifth for the Aggies final hit of the game.
The Aggies and Bulldogs play a doubleheader Saturday to conclude the series at the NM State Softball Complex that is slated to begin at 2 p.m. MT.