NM State Softball just shy after series against Tarleton over the weekend

Alyssa Tapia

More stories from Alyssa Tapia

New Mexico State Softball campaign (18-17) battled in another weekend series with a Friday doubleheader against Tarleton (22-22) in Texas. Their performance turned from last weekend, where they held two wins against Sam Houston. The Aggies added an 8-5 win from their afternoon game, then fell to the Texans 2-4 in the evening. After a close game, Saturday was their second loss of the matchup 7-8. 

 Zero runs were made between both teams in the first and second inning of the first game. NM State took the lead in the third inning, starting with Jillian Taylor hitting a single. The first double of the weekend was made by the WAC Hitter of the Week, Kayla Bowen, driving the ball down right field to send Taylor home and score the first Aggie run. The following two runs came from Kendal Lunar’s hit down left field, putting NMSU up by three. It was time for Tarleton to make a play of their own. They decreased the gap with a two-run home run.   

The fourth inning brought three runs to each team, starting with a double by Gabby Aragon, then Jayleen Burton set up Aragon’s return to home with a single. It was no surprise for the Aggies when Bowen stepped up to the plate and sent the ball to center field, hitting a two-run homer. The Texans responded with a three-run home run to center field, which would be the last runs made by Tarleton for the remainder of game one.  

The next two innings presented no improvement from either softball squad. To secure the NM State victory in the seventh inning, Taylor hit her ninth right field home run of the year and her team’s fourth of the day.  

Friday night began in favor of the Texans with two runs in the first inning and the same in the second. The second inning ended in a double play by Tarleton, leaving two Aggies on base after a single from Hannah Lindsay and a walk from Jessica Carreon.  

The Aggies managed two runs in the seventh after a slow three innings. Although neither team put numbers on the board, Taylor recorded her fifth hit of the series with a single down the left field line in the sixth inning. Paige Knight produced her seventh home run of the NMSU season, delivering the ball out of left field, which allowed Lindsay to collect the first run of the entire game with Knight on her tail.  

The players were itching for a win to close out the weekend on Saturday. The game started in the second inning, where Tarleton achieved the first two runs of the day due to an Aggie error. NM State’s Kristen Boyd hit a double on the second pitch of the third inning followed by Burton, who hit a bunt down the third base line. An error by Tarleton resulted in Boyd shrinking the gap to one run. The Texans had no luck at bat with Aggie’s Aydenne Brown on the mound.  

NM State was able to put up one run in the fourth inning, being an obvious home run over the left wall by Riley Carley. Brown struggled to get Tarleton batters out, which was noted by Coach Kathy Rodolph. NMSU answered with not one but two pitching changes when Laurali Patane was unsuccessful at wrapping up the innings, Emily Dix was called in to relieve the pressure.  

In the fifth inning, Boyd added a run to the Aggie score during Bowen’s pop fly into left field. With Bowen on third, Lindsay hit a single through the right field to advance NMSU by two runs. The players kept up the momentum as they entered the sixth. Dix assisted her team’s lead in the inning, not letting Tarleton complete any runs while down by four. Bowen also did not disappoint as she hit a three-run homer out of the left field, bringing home Aragon and Boyd. However, it was not enough for NM State to take home a win in the final game of the series in Texas.  

The Aggies return to the NM State Softball Complex on Friday and Saturday to take on UT Arlington as they compete for first place in the WAC standings. Friday’s first pitch is set for 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. for the second game, then the teams meet again at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday to conclude the three-game series.  

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