Clutch hitting by sophomore Teresa Conrad helped deliver a doubleheader sweep of Louisiana Tech on Saturday afternoon at the NM State Softball Complex. Conrad hit the game-winning walk-off three run home run in the first game and then delivered the eventual game-winning RBI single with bases loaded in the sixth inning of the second game. Conrad finished the day 3-for-7 with four RBIs. She recorded just one hit in the first game of the doubleheader but it was the game winner.
New Mexico State improves to 35-12 and 14-1 in WAC play with the sweep and the two wins gave the Aggies nine consecutive victories, a school record. The Aggies also remain alone atop the WAC standings after the weekend sweep and it is the first series victory over Louisiana Tech since a 3-0 sweep in 2006.
GAME ONE: NM STATE 5, LOUISIANA TECH 4 (8)
The Aggies outlasted Louisiana Tech 5-4 in extra innings in the first game of the doubleheader as the Aggies were forced to come from behind in the 8th inning after Megan Knowles blasted a two-run homer in the top of the eighth to give Louisiana Tech a 4-2 lead. The Aggies had taken an early 1-0 lead as Vanessa Valles scored on a throwing error on LA Tech left fielder Christina Gamboa after drawing a one out walk earlier in the inning.
The Aggies would go up 2-0 on a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning by Tehani Kaaihue. Louisiana Tech would tie the game in the top of the sixth as they would get back-to-back singles to force Aggie starter Celisha Walker out of the game. Sydney Williard would come into the game for Walker but after giving up a walk to load the bases Walker would immediately return to the circle for the Aggies. Heather Doiron would double off of Walker to bring home two runners. The Aggies would limit the damage getting out of the inning with the game tied 2-2.
Neither team would score in the seventh sending the game to extra innings. In the extra frame Louisiana Tech would take the lead as Meghan Knowles hit a two run home run with two outs to give Louisiana Tech a 4-2 lead.
The Aggies would come to the plate in the bottom of the eighth with Kandis Jones, Tiare Jennings and Hoku Nohara due up. Jones would lead off the inning with a single to left field. After Tiare Jennings was retired, Hoku Nohara would single past the Louisiana Tech second baseman to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Teresa Conrad stepped to the plate and swung at the first pitch sending it deep to left for the game winning three run walk-off home run.
GAME TWO: NM STATE 3, LOUISIANA TECH 2
The Aggies would take a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Kylie Randall led the game off with a triple. She would score on a sacrifice fly from Tiare Jennings.
Louisiana Tech would take the lead in the top of the second as they would put runners on second and third with nobody out. Molly Goza would double to drive in both runners to give the Lady Techsters a 2-1 lead.
After giving up a leadoff double to Allie Geisler in the top of the fourth, starter Alex Newman would be lifted in favor of Kelsey Schueler. Heather Doiron would single and advance to second on a stolen base putting runners at second and third with nobody out. Meghan Knowles would reach on an infield pop single but Doiron would be called out on interference after she and Kylie Randall collided as Randall was attempting to make a play on the ball hit by Knowles. The Aggies would record the second out of the inning throwing out Knowles while attempting to steal second. Schueler would get Goza to fly out to left to end the inning and the scoring threat.
After stranding Teresa Conrad at second in the bottom of the second, hitting into an inning-ending double play in the third and going in order in the fourth, the Aggies would tie the game in the fifth as freshman Valerie Swedberg would hit a no-doubt-about-it bomb to left field with one out in the bottom of the fifth. After Schueler retired the Techsters in order in the sixth, the Aggies would load the bases to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Teresa Conrad would step to the plate and deliver a single scoring Kandis Jones from third. Tiare Jennings would be caught in a rundown after rounding third and stopping midway between third and home for the first out of the inning. Ashley Maroda and Valerie Swedberg would be retired to end the Aggie threat but the Aggies would take 3-2 lead to the seventh.
Louisiana Tech would give the Aggies a scare in the seventh as Molly Goza would draw a one out walk. Cassie Krieg would single to put runners at first and second. Erin Kipp would pinch hit for Christina Gamboa and would hit a tailor-made double play ball to shortstop Kylie Randall, however, Randall would have the ball go under her glove and the bases would be loaded. Kendra Harmon would hit a soft pop out to a diving Ashley Maroda for the second out of the inning and pinch hitter Rachel Allday would hit a ground ball to Randall who would atone for her error earlier in the inning to throw out Allday at first to seal the Aggie victory.