NMSU sweeps North Dakota

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New Mexico State softball concluded its three-game series with North Dakota at the NM State Softball Complex on Sunday. The Aggies took down the Fighting Hawks 5-2, completing the series sweep.

NM State (14-12) struggled early when a pair of extra base errors scored the first run for UND (15-20). After a scoreless bottom of the frame for the New Mexico State squad, Analise De La Roca struck trouble in the second when she hit a pair of Hawk batters before an RBI single doubled the Aggie deficit.

In the bottom of the inning, NMState began its at bat with a walk to Kayla Bowen. Nikki Butler brought the freshman home with a double to right centerfield. After a bunt by Casie Roberto gave the team runners on the corners, Jeanelle Medina put down a sacrifice bunt that scored a run, tying the game.

The bats stayed hot in the following frame, beginning with an infield single by Mya Felder. Victoria Castro doubled to score the freshman and the senior advanced to third on the throw home. Bowen followed the senior with her second-straight walk and Butler’s second double of the day brought in Castro from third. With a pair of runners in scoring position, Chloe Rivas posted a single to add the third run of the inning.

Holding the 5-2 advantage, New Mexico State continued to shut down the Fighting Hawks’ offense with De La Roca pitching scoreless frame after scoreless frame. In the seventh, the sophomore allowed a leadoff single and head coach Kathy Rodolph went to Samaria Diaz to close out the contest. After striking out the first batter she faced, the junior allowed a pair of singles, loading the bases. A shallow pop out to centerfield followed for the second out and the runner on third base left early on the play, ending the game and giving the Aggies the 5-2 victory.

De La Roca moved to 3-3 with the win. She pitched 6.0 innings and allowed three hits, two runs with one earned while also striking out three. Diaz earned the save, pitching 1.0 innings and striking out a single batter.

NM State heads to Seattle U for the squad’s first series of Western Athletic Conference play. The Aggies face off against the Redhawks in a doubleheader on Friday, March 29, beginning at 5 p.m. MT. The series finale is set for 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 30.

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