New Mexico State softball splits doubleheader at California Baptist

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Mar 8, 2019; Tempe, AZ; New Mexico State Softball double-header vs. Michigan and Arizona State. Photo by Joe Camporeale

New Mexico State softball closed out the series with California Baptist at the John C. Funk Stadium on Saturday. The Aggies fell to the Lancers to 2-0 in the Western Athletic Conference series finale before coming up with the 3-1 win in the final game of the doubleheader.

GAME ONE
NM State (21-17, 4-5 WAC) starter Samaria Diaz and CBU (18-26, 5-7 WAC) pitcher Kellye Springstead went back-and-forth with each pitcher posting four scoreless innings to start the contest.

The Aggies went scoreless in the top of the fifth but in the bottom of the frame, Diaz allowed a double with one out on the board and head coach Kathy Rodolph brought in Kayla Green to the circle. The senior forced the first batter to ground out before striking out the final batter to end the inning.

However, Green struck trouble in the bottom of the sixth when she allowed a pair of singles with two outs. A double scored the first runs of the game and Rodolph went back to Diaz. The junior struck out the final batter of the inning but the damage was done.

Trailing 2-0, New Mexico State look to rally as the squad was down to its final three outs. NM State was retired in order, ending the 2-0 loss.

Diaz pitched 4.2 innings in the start, allowing just two hits while striking out seven. Green picked up the loss, moving to 7-5 when she allowed two runs on three hits in her 1.1 innings of work.

GAME TWO
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Aggies jumped ahead early when Keala Brown started the contest with a leadoff single. After Kelsey Horton reached on an error that put her and Brown into scoring position, Nikki Butler drove the pair home with a single to left field to give NM State the 2-0 lead.

Following scoreless second and third inning for both squads, CBU cut NM State’s lead in half when the starting pitcher Analise De La Roca allowed a solo home run over the fence in left-center field. Rodolph brought in Chloe Rivas to pitch in the fourth and the freshman allowed a single before a fly out and two-straight strikeouts ended the inning.

After a scoreless fifth and sixth for both teams, Horton hit a ball over the left-center fence, giving NM State the 3-1 advantage. The homer was the 64th of the senior’s career, tying New Mexico State’s career home run record held by Hoku Nohara.

In the bottom of the seventh, Rivas stuck trouble when she hit a batter after recording an out. Rodolph brought in Diaz to close out the game. The junior allowed a walk but a fielder’s choice and a popout ended the contest, giving the Aggies the 3-1 victory.

De La Roca went 3.0 innings in the start and allowed one run on seven hits. Rivas recorded her first career win, moving to 1-1, when she pitched 3.1 innings and allowed just one hit while striking out three. Diaz picked up the save when she pitched 0.2 innings and faced three batters.

NM State takes on Loyola Marymount in a single game on Monday, April 15. First pitch from Smith Field is scheduled for 2 p.m. MT.
 

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