LAS CRUCES, N.M. (March 31) - The New Mexico State softball team dropped a doubleheader to No. 18/16 Hawai'i Saturday at the NM State Softball Complex.
No. 18/16 Hawai'i (29-3, 5-1 WAC) completed the three-game sweep of NM State (18-19, 0-6) with a tight 4-3 win in game one of the twin bill and a 4-1 victory in the series finale.
Junior Alex Newman started game one of the day for the Aggies in the circle and Kaia Parnaby started for the Rainbow Wahine.
NM State opened the scoring in the bottom of the second frame. After freshman Kelsey Dodd was hit by a Parnaby pitch, freshman Chelsea Dohrwardt came into the game to pinch run. A double from freshman Tina Cisneros put runners in scoring position. Dohrwardt scored on a ground out from classmate Malena Padilla to give the Aggies a 1-0 edge.
UH took the lead in the top of the third. A one-out single and a walk put two runners on before a double brought each base runner home for a 2-1 Hawai'i lead.
NM State regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Senior Tiare Jennings scored on a play that involved two UH errors. Parnaby overthrew first base on a routine out and the ball rolled to the right field fence line. Jennings slid into third as the Rainbow Wahine third baseman mishandled the ball to allow Jennings to score and tie the game at 2-2.
Aggie junior Amber Olive drew a walk and sophomore Valerie Swedberg reached on another Parnaby error, both runners advanced on the throw. After an out, Olive scored on a Parnaby wild pitch and Swedberg moved to third before UH closed out the inning down 3-2.
Hawai'i regained the lead at 4-3 in the top of the sixth inning. A leadoff home run tied the game at three runs apiece. A hit batter followed by a sacrifice fly and two singles scored the game-deciding run.
NM State threatened in its final at-bat. Olive opened with a single but was out later on a fielder's choice off the bat of Swedberg. Senior Shaleese Javillo entered the game to run for Swedberg at first then classmate Brittany Clifton reached first after being hit by a pitch.
Hawai'i made its first pitching change of the season as senior Stephanie Ricketts came into the game to replace Parnaby.
After a fly out, freshman Briana Tovio-Asato ripped a two-out single to left field. Javillo rounded third to try to score the tying run but was tagged out at home for the final out of the game.
Newman suffered the loss to drop to 9-10 on the year. Parnaby earned the win to improve to 11-1 and Ricketts earned her first save of the season.
In game two, Ricketts made her second start of the weekend as did Aggie freshman Karysta Donisthorpe.
Hawai'i scored the first runs of the game in the top of the third with a pair of solo home runs for a 2-0 lead.
Another Rainbow Wahine home run doubled the UH score in the top of the fifth with a two-run shot over the fence to push the lead to 4-0.
NM State sophomore Celisha Walker came into the game in the top of the fifth and shutout UH the rest of the way, allowing just three hits over 2.2 innings.
Swedberg blasted her seventh home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth to cut the UH lead to 4-1.
Ricketts won her second game of the weekend to improve to 18-2 while Donisthorpe dropped to 5-6 with the loss.
The Aggies travel to Louisiana Tech next weekend for a three-game series against the Lady Techsters.
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