Las Cruces, NM — A rally in the bottom of the sixth inning pushed the New Mexico State softball team to an 8-6 win over Texas Tech on Sunday, Feb. 16, to conclude the 24th Annual Troy Cox Classic. NM State had not defeated Texas Tech since its NCAA Tournament berth in 2011 when the Aggies run-ruled the Red Raiders at Regionals. The Aggies are now 5-5 on the season after going 3-2 in the tournament.
“I feel like we started off the weekend pretty rough,” head coach Kathy Rodolph said, “We just were not playing Aggie Softball. By the end of the weekend, we were playing much more aggressively and we were much closer to being the team that I know we can be.”
NM State saw three pitchers go into the circle and combine for the six runs allowed by the Red Raiders. Sophomore Makayla McAdams picked up the win, pitching 2.1 innings and allowing five hits. Earning her second save of the season, senior right-hander Celisha Walker came in with two strikeouts and a quick three-pitch sixth inning.
Texas Tech got on board first with a single RBI through the middle to score the runner at second.
NM State got on the board next with a run by sophomore Fiana Finau. She reached base on a fielding error by TTU and was brought around by a sacrifice bunt by junior Lacey Rother and a hit to the right-center gap by junior Kelsey Dodd.
The Red Raiders came back in the next half inning with a three-run home run over the centerfield fence. The second baseman Lea Hopson cleared the bases after a base hit and a fielder’s choice play put runners on first and second.
The Aggies scored one off a single RBI by freshman Devon Thomey which brought around sophomore Emma Adams, who reached on a double to the left field wall.
Adams finished the day 3-for-3 with two runs of her own. Thomey also had a good outing, going 3-for-4 with two RBI.
TTU took a commanding lead over NM State in its half of the fifth with two more runs off four hits and a sacrifice bunt. A single through second and a hit to left put runners in position for two RBI singles through the middle, giving the Red Raiders a 6-2 lead over NM State.
NM State rallied in the bottom of the fifth with five consecutive hits. Adams singled to score Rother for the first run of the inning, and senior Alyssa Ruiz and sophomore Brennalyn Nakamura drove in two more runs with singles up the middle. Dodd reached base with a single and crossed the plate on a wild pitch with bases loaded. The fifth run was scored by Ruiz, who came in off the same pitch as Dodd, giving the Aggies an 8-6 lead over TTU.
NM State now sets out on the road for 22 straight road games, beginning with the UTEP Invitational Feb. 21-13. NM State plays five games on the weekend starting with Incarnate Word at 10 a.m. and Houston Baptist at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21. On Saturday, the Aggies meet HBU at 10 a.m. and end the weekend with two more games versus Incarnate Word at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23.