FRESNO, Calif. – After a cancelation of games Thursday and Friday due to weather, NM State made its debut at the Bulldog Classic in Fresno, California on Saturday, riding the potent Aggie offense to a win over Maine 9-1. Jillian Taylor blasted her sixth home run of the season, scoring two of five runs in the pivotal fourth inning. Aydenne Brown picked up her sixth win of the season, allowing just two hits and one run in four innings of work.
First Inning
Aydenne Brown took control in the circle for NM State, allowing a leadoff walk before retiring the next three batters including a strikeout to escape the inning unscathed. A pair of walks and a passed ball put Jillian Taylor on second and Kendal Lunar on third, and Kaylin Jackson’s sac fly scored Taylor from third to give the Aggies an early 1-0 lead.
Second Inning
After a short top of the inning thanks to a 6-4-3 double play, the Aggie bats went to work in the second, and came up with similar results to the first inning. Riley Carley doubled to left center to set up in scoring position, advancing to third on a passed ball. Two on with two outs as Jillian Taylor stepped up the plate again, she delivered a single through the right side, an errant throw by the Black Bears scored Carley from third to double the NM State advantage, 2-0.
Third Inning
Maine produced a single and an RBI double in the top half of the third, putting the Black Bears on the board and slicing the Aggie deficit in half (2-1). Kayla Bowen drew a walk when she stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the third, moving over to third after a double by Paige Knight. A wild pitch scored Bowen and put the Aggies back on top by two (3-1) before Riley Carley poked it through the left side for a single, scoring Knight and putting NM State in a 4-1 advantage heading into the fourth.
Fourth Inning
The Aggie bats refused to relent, as Jayleen Burton joined the base paths for the first time after a single. Jillian Taylor came up to bat for the third time, launching a rocket to right center field for her team-leading sixth home run on the season, putting the Crimson & White ahead 7-1. Speaking of team leaders, Kendal Lunar came up next and did her thing, knocking in her tenth double to keep the pressure. Savannah Bejarano pinch ran for Lunar, stealing third during a Kayla Bowen walk, scoring when a Hannah Lindsay single hit the left field grass. A Kristen Boyd sac hit scored Lindsay from third, putting NM State ahead 9-1 as the inning finally came to a close.
The Aggies will return to the Land of Enchantment for a brief time, before heading to Tucson, Arizona for a doubleheader on Wednesday, Mar. 15th with the #20 Arizona Wildcats. First pitch is expected to start at 4 p.m., with the second game tentatively scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The matchup with Arizona is NM State’s last before the start of conference play, opening with a three-game series against Utah Valley in Orem (Mar. 17-18th).