TEMPE, ARIZ. (March 9) - After rain and hail washed out the
first day of the Diamond Devil Invitational on Friday, the New Mexico State
Aggies took back to Farrington Stadium on the Arizona State campus for a 4-2
win over the UC Davis Aggies, but then dropped 2-1 to the Notre Dame Irish on
Saturday, March 9. The Aggies move to 15-8 on the season and 1-1 in the
"I was good to finally get back on the field after the
weather delay yesterday," head coach Kathy Rodolph said. "I thought we did a
great job sticking to the game plan that we laid out yesterday and we brought a
lot of energy and we had a good team effort in game one."
With a slow start to the first game of the tournament, the
NM State Aggies and the UC Davis Aggies were finally able to pick up in the
bottom half of the first inning after inclement weather washed out all games on
Friday. The Aggies were able to get out
of the top of the first inning before rain and hail halted the game.
When play resumed Saturday morning, both teams were slow to
get a hit. It was UC Davis that picked up a hit in the second and one in the
third, but the Aggies were able to strand the runners on base.
Sophomores Kelsey Dodd and Staci Rodriguez hit back-to-back
solo home runs to break up UC Davis' attempt at a no-hitter and give the Aggies
a 2-0 lead going into the fifth inning.
The UCD Aggies came back with a three-base RBI after the
runner reached on a walk. With the score in favor of the Aggies 2-1, The Aggies
were able to keep UCD from plating the tying run with a play at third to get
the third out of the inning.
NM State went into the bottom of the fifth for a pair of
doubles by Malena Padilla and Tehani Kaaihue. Padilla scored off Kaaihue's hit
to increase the Aggies lead, and a fielder's choice play at the bat of Amber
Olive plated the Aggies fourth run of the day for NM State.
UC Davis came up with a late solo home run in the top of the
seventh. The shot over the center field fence was not enough to rattle the
Aggies as relief pitcher Alex Newman closed the game for her first save of the
Sophomore Karysta Donisthorpe worked for six complete
innings in the opening game of the day for six strikeouts and just four hits on
the day. She moves to 5-1 on the season.
"The Notre Dame pitcher (Laura Winter) is a very talented young
lady and she really moved the ball well. ND is a very solid ball club," Rodolph
said. "I feel like we probably need to continue to get better under pressure,
but all-in-all, I was pleased with the performance and I am confident that we
can make the corrections needed for tomorrow."
Both teams got off to an equally sluggish start in game two
of the Aggies double bill on Saturday. Notre Dame started things off with a
single to center field in the bottom of the first, but NM State held the Irish
without a run until their half of the fourth inning.
The Aggies picked up a single to left by senior Teresa
Conrad in the top of the second and she moved herself into scoring position
with a stolen base at second. Notre Dame's pitching proved to be the strength
of the Irish as Laura Winter pitched 13 strikeouts against the Aggies with
three of those resulting in the end of the Aggies at bat in the second inning.
ND was first on the board with a two-run fourth inning off
four hits. A pair of doubles and singles scored two for ND, putting the Aggies
It did not take much for the Aggies to come back with a run
of their own as sophomore transfer Lacey Rother drove herself around the bases
with a home run out to left field, just to the right of the scoreboard. The
bomb marks the third this season for Rother with her eighth RBI. She went
2-for-4 on the day with a walk in the Aggies first game against UC Davis and
two hits in the loss to Notre Dame.
As the Aggies went down in order in their half of the sixth,
the team came back in its half of the seventh for two more hits. Rother had her
second hit of the game with a single to left and Kaaihue finished the day with two
hits as she hit a shallow ball up the middle to the pitcher.
NM State was unable to turn those hits for runs in the top
of the seventh, giving the Aggies their first loss of the tournament to break a
five-game losing streak.
The Aggies take back to Farrington Stadium on Sunday to play
host Arizona State at 3 p.m. (MT). The team then looks for revenge against the
Irish at 5:30 p.m., to close out the Diamond Devil Invitational.