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The New Mexico State softball team worked for its first two road wins in Western Athletic Conference play on Friday afternoon, March 29, as the Aggies hit five home runs in the two games for a 5-2 win in game one and capped off the double bill with a 17-6 win over USU.
NM State finished the day with 26 hits and a combined four stolen bases.
Both Aggie teams took a slow start in game one with the first seven innings staying scoreless. The Aggies did work for five hits through the seven rounds, but it took until the first extra inning to make some noise.
With the teams scoreless through the first seven innings of play, the Aggies put two on base with a fielding error by Utah State and a bunt single by senior Amber Olive. With two outs, senior Teresa Conrad came to the plate to smack a three-run home run over the left field wall to give NM State a 3-0 lead over the blue Aggies.
After Conrad cleared the bases, sophomore Staci Rodriguez walked her way on base before Tehani Kaaihue came up with a shot over the left center wall to bring herself and Rodriguez around the bases.
NM State went into the bottom of the eighth with a 5-0 lead over the Utah State Aggies USU got two singles to put runners on first and second before a double up the right line scored both the base runners. NM State was able to get the out at third to end the game with a 5-2 win over USU.
The Aggies finished the first game of the day with eight hits, while holding USU to eight hits. Newman worked her seventh complete game of the season for two strikeouts and just one walk.
“It was a good day to see our offense really explode for us and I am pleased with our performance today,” head coach Kathy Rodolph said. “It was good to see so many contributions from so many players. It was also good to see Alex (Newman) stay in the game and keep her composure. I thought Celisha (Walker) did well in game two. They got on her heels a little bit, but she was able to hold her ground and keep herself in the game.”
NM State maintained the momentum from game one with three runs in the top of the first inning. Utah State walked in the first NM State run after giving up two bases on balls and hitting one batter. With the bases still loaded, sophomore Kelsey Dodd hit a two-run RBI to left field before USU was able to get out of the inning.
The Aggies sent USU down in order in the bottom half of the first inning, only to come back in the second for four runs off four hits for a 7-0 lead. Freshman Emma Adams and Olive singled their way on base. Adams plated her first run of the day after Olive stole second.
Olive stole third and was brought around off a single by Kaaihue with Conrad sitting on second after she walked her way on base. The senior was brought around the bags along with Kaaihue from the bat of Dodd. She knocked a double to center field before the blue Aggies were able to get out of the inning.
Trailing 7-0 in the bottom of the second, USU came up with three hits to put them on the board. NM State was able to score one in the third with an RBI single by Olive after freshman Tatum Reedy worked her way on base with a double to left.
Utah State made a third inning rally by scoring four runs on three hits. Two of the four runs went down unearned after an error at home plate allowed the two runs to score.
NM State plated the ninth run of the game as Rodriguez singled her way on base and then stole second. Dodd put the ball in play to bring Rodriguez around, but it went down as a fielding error on Utah State to make Rodriguez’s run unearned.
NM State sent Utah State away in order in the bottom of the fourth and came up for two singles by Adams and Olive in the top of the fifth.
The teams were scoreless in the fifth and sixth before pinch hitter Chelsea Dohrwardt singles her way on bases and put herself in scoring position with a stolen base. She plated an Aggie run off a double up the left line by Adams. The freshman plated her second run of the game off a single bunt by Olive. After Kristi Covarrubia got a base hit up the middle, Conrad came up with her second home run of the day for a three Aggie RBI and put NM State up 14-5.
Rodriguez followed Conrad’s homer with one of her own. The bomb marks the sophomore’s 13th of the season. Kaaihue came up with a double to left and was brought home off a home run straight out over center field by Dodd to put NM State up 17-5. Dodd finished the game going 3-for-5 with six RBI.
The Utah State Aggies made another rally attempt with a double to right center in the bottom half of the seventh inning. A single to left by the third baseman brought the run around for USU’s sixth run of the day.
NM State finished the game with 18 hits and 17 runs. Walker went the distance in the circle for four strikeouts and three walks.
NM State wraps up the series against Utah State on Saturday, March 29, at 1 p.m.
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