LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The Aggies returned to the NM State Softball Complex for the second weekend in a row for day one of the NM State Round Robin on Saturday. As they did on the first day of the Troy Cox Classic, NM State split a pair of games – defeating UTEP 12-3 in five innings before falling 6-4 to Northern Colorado.

In the opener, Jillian Taylor went a perfect 3-3 at the plate while bringing across three runs to lead the Aggies in both categories. Riley CarleyKayla Bowen and Hannah Lindsay each finished the game versus the Miners with two RBIs. Kendal Lunar also added to her already impressive double count as she recorded her eighth two-base hit of the season. In the circle, Aydenne Brown threw her first complete game of the season as she tallied six strikeouts across five innings of work.

Against the Bears, NM State’s offense received production in the form of two doubles from Kayla Bowen while both Gabby Aragon and Kaylin Jackson notched the Aggies’ lone RBIs as each brought around two runners.

GAME ONE | NM State 12, UTEP 3 (5 Inn.)

The Aggies’ dominant junior pitcher Aydenne Brown opened the game with a pair of strikeouts in the first inning before Kayla Bowen hit a two-run jack in the bottom half in the inning to give NM State a quick 2-0 advantage.

After a scoreless second, NM State broke the game open by posting eight runs in the third frame. A Jillian Taylor gave the Aggies their first base runner of the inning before Riley Carley hit her first home run since the opening weekend to put the Aggies ahead 4-0 with no outs.

Two batters later, Hannah Lindsay would connect on a pitch to record NM State’s second two-run home run of the inning as Kayla Bowen reached on a walk moments before.

UTEP would eventually put away two outs, however, that did not stop the onslaught as Kaylin Jackson stepped up against her former team and hit the first double of her Aggie career to bring home Paige Knight.

With two runners still aboard after Jackson’s double, Jayleen Burton used one swing to empty the bases and put NM State ahead 10-0 as she crushed her first home run of the season.

NM State placed two more runners on the base paths as Lindsay walked and Knight singled before Kendal Lunar’s double to right center pushed the Aggie lead to 12 runs.

Aydenne Brown’s bid for a shutout was put to an end in the top half of the fifth inning as the Miners pushed across three runs, however, with the gap remaining at nine runs, NM State would earn its seventh run-rule victory over their rival in the last eight contests.

GAME TWO | Northern Colorado 6, NM State 4

Both NM State and Northern Colorado failed to add runs to the board in the first inning, however, both sides figured out a way to touch home in the second inning. In the top half, Northern Colorado took advantage after loading the bases as a single up the middle combined with an error by the Aggie defense turned into three NM State runs.

NM State then immediately responded as Kaylin Jackson collected her second and third RBIs of the day as she hit a home run to dead center to plate herself and Kristen Boyd who reached via a walk.

The contest then became a pitcher’s duel as the two sides combined for just four hits across the third, fourth and fifth innings. After the drought, the two squads matched their output from the second frame. Northern Colorado put up three runs in three consecutive at-bats to work their way to a 6-2 lead with the NM State bats heading to the plate.

Looking at the four-run deficit, NM State received a timely single from Gabby Aragon to bring home Savannah Bejerano from second and Kayla Bowen from third while reducing the gap to just two runs. Aragon would eventually reach third base while Jessica Carreon and Jayleen Burton stood on first and second, respectively. However, Northern Colorado would bring in Erin Caviness who ultimately threw 1.1 shutout innings to close the game.