Las Cruces, NM — The New Mexico State softball team dropped both games in their double header against the University of Arizona on Wednesday, April 23, in Tucson, Ariz. The Aggies record drops to 26-21 (8-4) on the season.
NM State fell in the first game to the Wildcats by a score of 13-3 in five innings. The team regrouped for game two and though they fell behind early on, they clawed their way back into the game but eventually fell 13-7.
Junior Makayla McAdams got the start in the pitcher's circle for the first game for the Aggies. Redshirt sophomore Karysta Donisthorpe got the start in the second game. Both starters struggled to find the zone early on and paid the price against the Arizona offense. McAdams pitched two innings before being replaced by senior Celisha Walker in the first game.
The offense did not struggle to find hits or home runs, as juniors Staci Rodriguez, Lacey Rother and Malena Padilla all hit long balls over the wall.
The Aggies wasted little time putting pressure on the No. 10 Wildcats as Rodriguez hit a two-run homerun to center field, giving NM State the early 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Arizona answered immediately as the leadoff hitter got the Wildcats on the board with her own homerun, bringing the score to 2-1. Arizona threatened for the remainder of the first inning, but the Aggie defense was able to work out of the inning without surrendering another run.
The Wildcats continued the offensive pressure in the second inning when they got three more runs on the board, courtesy of a three-run home run. This gave Arizona the 4-2 lead heading to the third inning.
The Aggies did not struggle to get base runners in the third as they loaded the bases for sophomore Tatum Reedy. She quickly fell behind 0-2 to the pitcher, but worked the count and drew a walk to bring Rodriguez in, bringing the Aggies closer as they trailed 4-3 moving to the bottom of the third inning.
Arizona opened things up in the bottom of the third as they scored seven runs in the inning, including four on a grand slam home run. This extended the Wildcats lead to 11-3 as the teams moved to the fourth inning.
NM State was not able to answer the Wildcats in the fourth as they were held scoreless. In the bottom of the inning, Arizona added two more runs to bring their lead up to 13-3 heading into the fifth inning. In the fifth inning the Aggies started with a double by junior Lacey Rother, but were unable to mount anymore offense and dropped game one of the double header 13-3.
Donisthorpe got the start in the pitcher's circle for game two against Arizona. Right out of the gate she surrendered nine runs to Arizona, but she settled down after the big first inning and was allowed to pitch through the entire game. After the first inning Donisthorpe surrendered just four runs over the next five innings.
The second game started much like the first game with a two-run home run by the Aggies giving them an early lead. This home run came off the bat of Rother and gave NM State the 2-0 lead in the first.
The lead however, would not last as the Wildcats quickly answered the Aggies' home run by posting nine runs on eight hits in the bottom of the first inning, giving them the 9-2 lead.
NM State made a small dent in the lead when Padilla hit a solo home run to bring the score to 9-3 with Arizona still commanding the board. The Aggies were unable to get anything else working in the inning.
After a scoreless third inning, the Wildcats were able to put two more runs on the board in the third extending their lead to 11-3 as the game moved into the fourth inning.
Padilla continued to swing a good bat as she hit her second home run of the game in the fourth inning. This one was a two-run shot that cut Arizona's lead to 11-5. The Wildcats answered with another run in the bottom of the fourth off of their own solo home run, extending their lead to 12-5.
The Wildcats tried to put the Aggies away in the fifth inning since they only needed one run to end the game early, but the Aggie defense and pitching held strong and did not surrender a run. Not only did they keep Arizona from scoring but they came up in the top of the sixth and put up two runs of their own, cutting the Wildcat's lead down to 12-7.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Arizona was able to get one run back and led 13-7 as the Aggies came up to bat in their final attempt in the seventh inning.
NM State was not able to mount anymore offense in the final inning and dropped the second game of the double header 13-7.
The softball team will be back in action on Friday, April 25, when they play a double header against Utah Valley in Orem, Utah. The first game is set to start at 12 p.m. while the second game of the day should start around 2 p.m.