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Saturday, April 2, 2011 - 9:42pm
The New Mexico State softball team edged Utah State 4-3 in ten innings to complete a three-game sweep of the northern Aggies at the LeRae and LeGrand Softball Field Johnson Field Saturday afternoon.
NM State (27-10, 6-0 WAC) freshman Valerie Swedberg led the Aggie offense with three RBI off of a two-run home run and game-winning RBI double in the top of the tenth inning to give NM State it's eighth-straight victory. Freshman pitcher Celisha Walker came into the game in the top of the sixth to pitch five straight innings of shutout softball.
The victory gives the Aggies their longest win streak in program history, besting a seven-game streak at the end of the 2007 season. The 6-0 conference start is also the best in NM State history.
Newman started in the circle for the Aggies and held Utah State (5-30, 0-6 WAC) scoreless for two innings.
In the bottom of the third, Utah State rattled Newman with four straight hits. The northern Aggies started with two singles and a three-run homer to post a 3-0 lead after three.
NM State responded with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Senior Vanessa Valles started it off with a double to right center to open the inning. After one out, senior Kylie Randall singled to score Valles and cut the lead to 3-1. The Aggies added another run after a double by Hoku Nohara to right center to score Randall and close to within a run of Utah State.
The visiting Aggies took the lead an inning later in the top of the sixth. After an out, sophomore Tehani Kaaihue reached after getting hit with a pitch. Junior Brittany Clifton singled to left but was thrown out trying to advance to second as Kaaihue moved to third. Next up, freshman Valerie Swedberg hit a home run over the right field fence to give NM State a 4-3 lead.
Utah State tied the game in the bottom of the frame. Freshman hurler Celisha Walker came into the game for NM State to start the inning in the circle. The northern Aggies opened with a walk and scored on a single two batters later to knot the score at 4-4.
The score remained tied for three innings until the top of the tenth when Swedberg posted her third RBI of the game with a one-run double to score senior Ashley Maroda who reached on a one-out single.
The Aggies host rival New Mexico on at the NM State Softball Complex for the first game of the 2011 Rio Grande Rivalry on Monday at 5 p.m. MT. The game will be televised on AggieVision across the state.