NM State falls to No. 12 Arizona in doubleheader

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New Mexico State softball hosted No. 12 Arizona at the NM State Softball Complex in a doubleheader on Tuesday. The Aggies fell to the Wildcats 11-3 in the first contest and 11-1 in the second game.

GAME ONE

NM State (9-7) got behind early when starting pitcher Samaria Diaz walked three UA (17-5) batters before giving up a single to score a run. A walk and a hit batter brought in two more for Arizona, leaving the team trailing 3-0 before its first at bat. However, the Aggies countered the momentum swing with a leadoff home run by Kelsey Horton, her fifth long ball of the season.

New Mexico State saw trouble again in the top of the second when UA hit a long ball out over the left center fence. The momentum stayed with the Wildcats heading into the third when the Aggies allowed four runs on five hits in the top of the frame.

Trailing 8-1, Diaz pitched a scoreless fourth but the Wildcats bats came alive in the fifth, adding a pair of runs with a long ball out to right center field, forcing New Mexico State to rally in the bottom of the inning. Jeanelle Medina started the frame with a single but a fielder’s choice by the next batter added an out to the board. Horton followed with her second homer of the day, a two-run long ball that put the team behind 10-3 heading to the sixth.

Following the rally,  Kayla Green took the circle and the senior allowed a solo home run to put Arizona up by eight. The Aggies went down in order in the bottom of the frame, ending the 11-3 loss for the team after just six innings.

Diaz went 5.0 innings and allowed 10 runs on 12 hits while also striking out eight. Green pitched 1.0 innings and gave up one run on two hits.

GAME TWO

After a scoreless first for both squads, the Aggies hit trouble when starting pitcherAnalise De La Roca walked the leadoff batter and hit the next Wildcat that came to the plate. A groundout and a fielder’s choice put two outs on the board but the pitcher was unable to escape trouble, giving up a three run homer to Arizona.

A couple of scoreless innings for the Wildcats followed and in the bottom of the fourth, the Aggies put a run on the board. Victoria Castro came through with a leadoff home run over the right-field fence for her sixth long ball this season, cutting the 3-1 deficit.

However, NM State hit trouble in the top of the fifth with De La Roca still in the circle. The pitcher struggled when a single, a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out. An error on the following play allowed two runs for Arizona to come in but the Wildcat rally was not over. A groundout put up the second out of the inning but also brought home another UA run. A second hit batter and walk during the frame loaded the bases before a single scored another Wildcat runner. back-to-back double brought in four runs before a strikeout ended the at bat, leaving NM State behind 11-1.

Needing to extend the game, the bottom of the order was due up for NM State. Each batter for the Aggies was retired in order, completing the squad’s second loss of the day.

De La Roca pitched all 5.0 innings, allowing 11 runs with only three earned. The sophomore alsostruckout a pair but walked four batters.

The Aggies hit the road for the ASU Invitational in Tempe, Ariz, from March 8-10. The team takes on top competition including No. 25 Michigan, No. 21 James Madison, South Dakota, Lehigh and the host No. 16 Sun Devils. NM State’s first contest of the tournament against the ranked Wolverines is set for 4:30 p.m. MT on Friday.

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