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Friday, May 20, 2011 - 22:51
New Mexico State's Alex Newman tossed a no-hitter and the Aggies (44-15) blasted Texas Tech (40-15) with a pair of home runs by Ashley Maroda and a third from Valerie Swedberg to win opening-round NCAA action in the Tucson regional, 9-0.
The Aggies picked up two runs with a Maroda single in the second. Hoku Nohara led off the frame with a walk to become the game's first base runner, Swedberg singled to left and both moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Vanessa Valles. Maroda drove both in with a single down the left field line, although she was thrown out trying to advance to second.
Raven Richardson drew a two-out walk to give Tech its first baserunner in the second, but pitcher Alex Newman got a ground-ball out to end the threat.
NMSU put together another solid rally in the third with hits by Kylie Randall and Tiare Jennings to put runners on the corners. A double steal worked for another run and Jennings moved to third on the play off a bad throw by second baseman Logan Hall to the plate. Nohara singled up the middle to make it 4-0 and chase starter Brittany Talley (14-7).
Swedberg greeted reliever Kermitria Ward with a two-run line-drive homer to left, and then Maroda made it 7-0 with a moon shot into the left field stands.
Swedberg singled to lead off the Aggies' fifth, and Maroda lined one over the left-center fence for the final runs. Richardson had an apparent base hit to deep short in the bottom of the fifth, but Randall came up with a throw from her knees to beat a headfirst slide by Richardson at the bag. Pinch-hitter Holley Gentsch drew a walk but Newman got McKenzie Clemmons to tap back to the circle.
The Aggies move to the winner's bracket tomorrow at 2 p.m. against Arizona who beat Harvard 10-0.
Kathy Rodolph, New Mexico State Head Coach, said "I'm proud of the kids and how hard they played. I told them to focus on just us, and they did just that. Alex Newman pitched a fantastic game. She put the ball in good spots, and it was just huge for her first regional. Ashley Maroda can hurt, and she did. She owned the five-six hole for us. We were agressive in the first inning, and I think it caught Texas Tech off guard. We wanted to establish ourselves and we did that." Alex Newman added, "I just take each game pitch by pitch, inning by inning. I didn't know I had a no-hitter until the end of the game."