Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
RUSTON, LA - The New Mexico State softball team split a doubleheader at Louisiana Tech Saturday afternoon at the Lady Techster Softball Complex winning the series finale 6-2 after dropping game two 2-1.
After the split, NM State moves to 19-18 overall and 1-8 in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) while Louisiana Tech goes to 20-12 overall and 6-3 in the WAC. The Aggie game three decision marked the first league victory of the year and the initial true road win of the season for NM State,
NM State started game two with active bats. Leadoff hitter Kylie Randall began the game off with a bunt single. Randall subsequently stole second. Next up, freshman Lauren Morizi continued her strong weekend at the plate with a single down the right field line to move Randall to third. In the number three slot, Tiare Jennings hit a long sacrifice fly to center to score Randall. Junior Hoku Nohara connected on a double to deep left center to move Morizi to third. But LA Tech starter Michelle Jones got out of the inning with the help of the Lady Techster defense down just 1-0.
In the second inning, the Aggies added another run. Freshman Tehani Kaaihue started off with a double to deep right center. Sophomore Brittany Clifton laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Kaaihue to third. Freshman Teresa Conrad ripped a solid single through the left side to score Kaaihue and give the Aggies a 2-0 advantage.
The Lady Techsters responded with one in the bottom of the second. Senior Jessica Kirby reached first on a hard infield shot mishandled by Conrad at short. Freshman Janna Frandrup drew a walk. A one-out single by junior Molly Goza loaded the bases. Schroeder then walked in a run as sophomore Amanda Parsonage earned the free pass and RBI to cut the Aggie lead in half 2-1. NM State sophomore right hander Sydney Williard came on to finish the inning and get the final two outs on a double play by Randall and Conrad.
In the top of the fourth, NM State increased the lead. Junior Kandis Jones smacked a double to center field to start the inning. Conrad hit a two-out RBI single through the right side to score Jones from second. The Aggie moved to second on a fielding error in the outfield. Randall reached first on an errant throw by the LA Tech pitcher as Conrad came around to score, giving NM State a 4-1 lead.
Frandrup came in to pitch in relief of Jones to begin the fifth for LA Tech.
Senior Angie Ortega came entered the batting lineup in the sixth inning for Clifton and delivered with a one-out home run well over the center field wall to give the Aggies a 5-1 cushion.
In the top of the seventh Jennings towered a ball just over the left field fence for her third home run of the year and put NM State up 6-1.
Lady Techster pinch hitter Valerie Quiroga belted a home run over the left field wall with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to make the final score 6-2.
Williard earned the win in relief of Schroeder to improve to 5-4 while Jones took the loss to drop to 4-3.
After three scoreless innings in game one, the Aggies got on the scoreboard first the hard way - without a hit. Junior Ashley Maroda drew a one-out walk off of starting LA Tech pitcher Meghan Krieg. The Lady Techster starter struck out the next Aggie batter but put Kaaihue on first with a hit by pitch. Clifton drew a walk to load the bases with two outs. Conrad earned another base on balls from Krieg to notch an RBI and score Maroda from third.
Louisiana Tech answered in the bottom of the inning with a pair of runs off of Aggie freshman hurler Carissa Theis. Senior Amberly Waits started off with a double to the right center wall. Defensively, Randall recorded the first two outs of the inning. But junior Heather Doiron hit a home run deep to left field to give LA Tech the 2-1 lead after four and yield the final score.
Theis took the loss for the Aggies to go to 5-7 on the year. Krieg won her second 2-1 decision of the weekend to improve to 16-9.
NM State steps outside of conference play with a single game at UT-Arlington on Monday beginning at 1:00 p.m. MT.