LUBBOCK, Texas – The New Mexico State softball team faced Texas Tech at Rocky Johnson Field on Tuesday afternoon. The Aggies split the doubleheader with the Red Raiders falling 7-4 before taking down Tech 3-1.
“Today was a great opportunity to get experience against a Big 12 team, ” head coach Kathy Rodolph said. “Our pitchers were able to come out and adjust after game one and keep us in game two.”
GAME ONE: Kayla Green got the start in the circle for NM State (9-5) and struggled from the start as the junior gave up a bunt single to the first batter. A home run by the Red Raiders’ (8-6) Jessica Hartwell put TTU ahead 2-0 after just an inning of play.
The Aggies quickly cut the deficit in half during its next at-bat which started with Nikki Butler reaching base after she was hit by a pitch. After back-to-back fielder’s choice hits put runners on first and second, Caity Szczesny hit a double, scoring the NM State’s first run of the game.
New Mexico State remained hot on offense with a single by Fahren Glackin in the third inning, After Kelsey Horton hit into a fielder’s choice, a single by Victoria Castro and a TTU error helped score the game-tying run for the team. But Texas Tech broke the stalemate in the bottom of the inning with another two-run homer by Hartwell, putting NM State behind 4-2.
In the top of the fifth, Amy Bergeson hit a single to start another rally for New Mexico State. After a fielder’s choice by Shelby Shultes and a single by Szczesny, the Aggies had runners on first and second with just one out. Pinch-hitter Stefani Duran hit a clutch single for her first collegiate hit, scoring the runners and tying the game.
In the bottom of the inning, Green hit trouble again after giving up a home run and a triple with no outs in the inning. The junior was replaced in the circle by Analise De La Roca and the freshman gave up a double to her first batter which scored TTU’s sixth run of the game. Another RBI double by the Tech scored the third run of the inning, putting NM State behind 7-4.
Despite De La Roca pitching a pair of scoreless inning, NM State’s offense was unable to overcome the deficit and fell in the first contest against the Red Raiders 7-4. Green moved to 6-3 this season as she pitched 3.0 innings allowing six runs on 10 hits in the loss.
GAME TWO: In the second game of the doubleheader, New Mexico State drew first blood against the Red Raiders in the top of the first with Fahren Glackin hitting a one-out single. After Kelsey Horton walked, Victoria Castro singled up the middle to load the bases, Amy Bergeson was patient at the plate and drew a four-ball walk, scoring the first Aggie run.
After a scoreless second inning for both teams, NM State loaded the bases with one out on the board when Horton walked and Shelby Shultes and Bergeson each hit a single. A throwing error and a passed ball by the TTU catcher brought home a pair of runs for New Mexico State, extending the lead 3-0.
After pitching a pair of scoreless innings, Samaria Diaz gave up a double down the left field line with an out recorded. The sophomore followed up by giving up a single which scored the first Red Raider run. In the fourth, Diaz gave up a single to get thing started and following the play, Analise De La Roca came in relieve the sophomore. The pitcher gave up a single to her first batter but finished the inning without allowing a single run.
De La Roca continued to dominate in the circle in the innings to follow, taking down batter after batter before sealing her second win in the circle and NM State’s 3-1 victory over Texas Tech. The freshman pitched nnings allowing no runs on four hits while striking out a pair of TTU batters.
New Mexico State remains on the road for its next set of contests as the team travels to Tempe, Ariz., to take on Coastal Carolina and host Arizona State at the ASU Tournament. NM State’s opening game is set for Friday, March 2, at 4:30 p.m. MT. against CCU.