ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (April 10) - The New Mexico State softball team's offense came alive in a big way in Albuquerque with a 9-1 run-rule victory over New Mexico in the final game of the 2012 Rio Grande Rivalry at the Lobo Softball Field Tuesday evening.
NM State (19-22) exploded for a seven-hit, eight-run third inning to put the game away. As a result, the Aggies snapped a 10-game losing streak and completed the season sweep of UNM (24-11). NM State has now won seven of the last eight games in the series including four straight in Albuquerque.
Freshman Karysta Donisthorpe started in the circle for the Aggies against Kari Gutierrez of New Mexico.
NM State opened the scoring in the top of the first inning. After a leadoff single from junior Amber Olive, sophomore Valerie Swedberg's two-out single brought Olive across the plate to make it 1-0 Aggies early.
UNM evened the score in the bottom of the second inning on a leadoff home run from Lobo clean-up hitter Jessica Garcia to make it 1-1 after two.
The Aggie bats exploded in the top of the third inning as the Crimson and White scored eight runs on seven hits and a Lobo error. The first six batters reached against the Lobo pitching staff. NM State hit three singles and a double and drew two walks to open the frame.
Olive reached on a single left. Freshman Malena Padilla also hit a single to left but Olive was later called out on third for being off the base when the pitcher held the ball in the circle.
A single from senior Tiare Jennings extended the rally. Back-to-back walks to Swedberg and freshman Kelsey Dodd scored Padilla to make it 2-1. A double from freshman Briana Tovio-Asato scored Jennings and Swedberg to put NM State up 4-1 with one out.
Dodd scored on a passed ball from new Lobo pitcher Carrie Sheehan to give the Aggies a 5-1 lead. A two-out walk to freshman Staci Rodriguez put runners on the corners. Freshman Tina Cisneros came on to pinch hit and connected on a two-RBI double to score Tovio-Asato and Rodriguez to give NM State a 7-1 advantage.
Batting around in the inning, Olive reached again in the inning on a Lobo error. Padilla and Jennings came up big with back-to-back RBI singles to score Cisneros and Olive to put NM State in front 9-1.
Neither team was able to get a runner past second the rest of the way as the Aggies came away with the win.
Donisthorpe moved to 6-7 with the win. She held the Lobos to one earned run on four hits. Gutierrez dropped to 5-4 with the loss.
NM State returns to action on Friday at home against Nevada to continue WAC play at 6 p.m. MT at the NM State Softball Complex. The Wolf Pack and Aggies conclude the series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 4 p.m.
Games one and three can be heard on KSNM 570 AM with play-by-play from Kyle Doperalski. Game two of the series can be seen on AggieVision with play-by-play from Doperalski and analysis from Melanie Viramontes.
For all of the latest Aggie softball news, click NMStateSports.com.