LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The New Mexico State softball team dominated rival New Mexico 10-0 in five innings to get back on the winning track Tuesday night at a windy NM State Softball Complex.
The Aggie win snapped a seven-game slide in convincing fashion. NM State scored 10 runs off 16 hits after eight of nine batters in the starting line-up recorded a base hit. Leadoff hitter Kylie Randall led the offense going 3-for-3 at the plate with three singles. Additionally, sophomore Tiare Jennings and junior Ashley Maroda both rocketed home runs over the left field fence – a solo shot for Jennings and a three-run homer for Maroda. Junior Hoku Nohara, sophomore Brittany Clifton and senior Angie Ortega notched multiple RBI along with Maroda.
The game was another milestone for head coach Kathy Rodolph’s squad, marking the Aggies’ third consecutive win over the Lobos for the first time since NM State won five straight from 1997-99. The victory improves the Aggies overall record to 18-16 overall while UNM falls to 10-20 overall before beginning Mountain West play this weekend.
Senior pitcher Torrey Schroeder was magnificent in the circle for the Aggies, throwing a complete game for the third time this season for her seventh win of the year – both team highs. Schroeder improved to 7-5 overall after blanking the Lobos, allowing just three hits to go with three strikeouts. A stout Aggie defense backed up Schroeder allowing just one Lobo to be left on base, as NM State retired 15-of-16 batters on the day.
New Mexico freshman starting pitcher Kari Gutierrez took the loss for the Lobos to fall to 2-6 this season.
NM State opened with two runs in the bottom of the first. Randall opened the game with a single to left. Junior Kandis Jones followed with a single of her own to short and Jennings added a one-bagger to right to load the bases. Ortega lined a two-RBI single up the middle to score two and put the Aggies up early.
In the bottom of the third, Jennings started things off with a solo home run. Nohara followed with a single down the left field line. Sophomore Shaleese Javillo came in to pinch run for Nohara and subsequently stole second. Maroda singled to advance Javillo to third and later stole second to put two runners in scoring position. Clifton answered the call with a double to left field to score two and give the Aggies a 5-0 lead after three.
The Aggies put the game away in the bottom of the fourth. Randall, Jones and Jennings all singled again in the fourth as they did in the second to load the bases for Nohara who ripped a two-RBI single to put NM State up 7-0. Two batters later, Maroda cleared the bases with her long ball to left field to supply the final margin.
NM State travels to Louisiana Tech this weekend for a three-game Western Athletic Conference (WAC) series against the Lady Techsters. The Aggies will be seeking their first road win of the season as well as their first conference victory after starting the season at 0-6 in the WAC.