The New Mexico State softball team came up with its second win of the weekend with an 11-1 victory in five innings over the Illinois-Chicago Flames on Saturday, Feb. 9. The team moves to 2-1 on the season before meeting Rio Grande Rival, New Mexico, on Sunday, Feb. 10.
NM State worked for 11 runs on 13 hits with 11 RBI on the win over the Flames. Senior Alex Newman pitched her way to a win in the circle after working four of the five innings. Between Newman and junior pitcher Celisha Walker, the pair combined for two strikeouts and did not walk a single batter. Newman allowed just four UIC hits in her pitching win.
“I believe our offense is really getting in sync right now,” head coach Kathy Rodolph said. “I feel like we are playing really solid defense behind the pitchers, regardless of what the situation is. One of our goals is to become very unified as a team and to communicate, stay aggressive and have an attacking mindset and I think we are doing that.”
Senior Amber Olive went 4-for-4 with three runs and a RBI for the Aggies, while Tina Cisneros lead the team with four RBI on the game. The Flames managed to strike out just one Aggie, while walking eight on the day.
Getting off to an early start, Cisneros put the Aggies on the board with a three-run homerun after Olive got on base with a lead-off single and sophomore Kelsey Dodd. Once the first three Aggies made it around the bases, a single by Alyssa Ruiz put another run on the board for NM State when she scored Staci Rodriguez, who walked on base.
The Aggies got out of the first inning with a pop up to second and a routine grounder to shortstop in the first after the lead-off runner reached base on an error and stole her way home.
Chelsea Dohrwardt picked up her first hit of the day when she singled and moved over to second on a fielding error. She was brought across the plate with a long-shot single by Olive, putting NM State up 5-1 in the second inning.
NM State allowed just three hits after the first inning, but was able to earn two more runs in the fourth inning when Olive bunted her way on base for her third hit of the game and was moved around the bags by a double shot to left center by Dodd. Rodriguez collected an RBI when Dodd came across off a double to center.
With the Aggies leading 7-1 after four innings, back-to-back singles by Olive and Kristi Covarrubia to move Dohrwardt around the diamond for the second time in the game. With the bases loaded, Cisneros came to the plate for the fourth time to reach on a fielder’s choice and bring home Olive, but Dodd was out at home with a throw from short. The Aggies finished the inning as Cisneros crossing the bag thanks to freshman Tatum Reedy getting her base on balls.
NM State shut down UIC in three batters with a strikeout and two putouts at first base in the fifth inning to secure the 11-1 win.
NM State returns on Sunday, Feb. 10, for the final day for the final day of the Hotel Encanto Invitational as it faces I-10 rival New Mexico at 2 p.m. at the NM State Softball Complex. Illinois-Chicago and Nebraska meet for the final time on the weekend at 9:30 a.m., before the Huskers finish their portion of the tournament against the Lobos.