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The New Mexico State softball team finished the final day of the Eller Media Stadium Classic with two wins on the day. The Aggies move to 13-7 on the season with a 2-0 win over Weber State and a 5-3 win over host UNLV on Sunday afternoon.
Senior Amber Olive went 3-for-7 on the day with two runs and two RBI. She helped the Aggies with a stolen base and 11 fielding assists on the game.
“I thought it was a good team effort,” head coach Kathy Rodolph said. “It’s hard to come back and play a team on its home field on the last day of the tournament, but I thought we got better this weekend and had great contributions. The competition will continue to get stronger and stronger, and we just need to prepare and get ready for that.”
In the Aggie half of the first, Amber Olive led off with a single to short and stole third to put herself in scoring position. Freshman Emma Adams hit a short bunt just in front of the plate to advance Olive. Staci Rodriguez came up with a sacrifice fly that scored Olive for the first run of the day for NM State.
NM State allowed two Weber State hits, but kept the team off the board. The Aggies came up with two hits in the bottom of the second, with Olive’s hit bringing around Tina Cisneros after she reached base on a walk.
The teams remained scoreless through the next three innings with the Aggies picking up a hit by freshman Brennalyn Nakamura with a single up the third baseline in the bottom of the fourth.
In the sixth, WSU hit a double to right, but was left stranded. In a similar Aggie half of the inning, Dodd doubles to right also, but was out on a double play.
The seventh ended quickly as junior Celisha Walker closed out the game for NM State and picked up her first save of the season by allowing just one Wildcat hit, but keeping them from crossing the plate.
Making her second start this season, freshman Makayla McAdams worked for six innings without allowing a run to score. McAdams moves to 2-2 on the season and tallies her ERA to 3.16 on the year.
The Aggies picked up five runs off 10 hits in game two of the day with Alyssa Ruiz going 2-for-20 and Kelsey Dodd going 3-for-2 with an RBI and a walk. Senior right-hand pitcher Alex Newman went the distance in the circle with just one run allowed off five hits.
As the Aggies met the Rebels for the second time over the weekend, the teams matched for runs in the first inning. The Aggies got on the board first with a single RBI by Dodd. She went 3-for-6 on the day with an RBI. The Rebels hit a single to right followed by an RBI double to match the Aggie run.
NM State extended the lead with a big second inning. Malena Padilla got on base with a single to right to bring up Kaaihue who hit a sacrifice bunt to move Padilla into scoring position. A hard liner up through right center moved Padilla across the plate for a 2-1 lead. NM State didn’t stop there as freshman Emma Adams drove a hit up the right line for her fourth hit of the weekend.
The third inning was scoreless, but with four hits for the Aggies, Kaaihue picked up her fourth extra-base hit of the season with a double down the left line. She was brought around the bases by Olive after hit a single to right. The Aggies were victim of a double play to end that half of the inning.
The Aggies sat UNLV down in order in the home half of the fourth, only to rack up two more runs off three hits in the top of the fifth. After senior Teresa Conrad walked on base, Staci Rodriguez doubles to left to score Conrad.
Rodriguez then picked up her 16th run scored of the season off the bat of Padilla with her second hit of the game and Ruiz singled to shortstop, but the bases were left loaded at the work of the UNLV defense.
UNLV came up with two runs in the final at bat of the night to close the gap slightly, but a last inning rally was not enough to hold the Aggies. NM State finished the weekend 4-2 by sweeping the final two days of the tournament.
NM State now looks to the Diamond Devil Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., March 8-10.
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