The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

NM State softball kicks off 50th season 4-0 after back-to-back double headers 

Jaileen+Mancha+winds+up+to+pitch+the+ball+during+Saturdays+game.+Feb.+10%2C+2024.+
Leah De La Torre
Jaileen Mancha winds up to pitch the ball during Saturday’s game. Feb. 10, 2024.

Entering their 50th season, New Mexico State University softball capitalized off a strong performance in the circle with a powerful offensive effort to defeat the Monmouth University Hawks 4-1 and 10-3. The dominant pitching from senior Emily Dix and freshman Desire Spearman fueled the Aggies aggressive hitting throughout the opening day double header.  

Spearman, a much-anticipated recruit, not only took care of business on the pitching front, but also went 3-6 with a home run throughout the double header.  

Kayla Lunar aims to throw the ball to another Aggie player. Feb. 10, 2024 (Leah De La Torre)

Dix quickly got to work in the circle in game one with a pair of strikeouts to end the top of the first. She remained pitching for the entire seven innings recording five strikeouts and allowing just one run on six hits.  

After five scoreless innings, senior Kaya Lunar got the ball rolling for the Aggies with a single followed by a bunt from senior Jayleen Burton. With zero outs, junior Dezianna Patmon nailed a grounder to the shortstop to bring in the first run of the game.  

Spearman kept the offensive effort going in the bottom of the sixth with a deep shot to center field for a triple. With a single from redshirt senior Riley Carley, Spearman ran in boosting the Aggies to a 2-0 lead. Following a pair of hits and a solo homerun over the left field fence from sophomore Kendal Lunar, the Aggies rode a 4-0 lead heading into the final inning.  

After a last-minute run from the Hawks in the top of the seventh, the Aggies secured a 4-1 win for their first game of the season.  

“We were solid in the circle so we weren’t chasing a lot of runs,” said head coach Kathy Rodolph on her team’s ability to produce a strong offensive performance. “And it allowed us to get in there and take what the game was going to give us.”  

With the first win under their belt, the Aggies were confident heading into game two. Despite an early error to put the Hawks on the scoreboard, Spearman brought the heat into the circle and earned her first collegiate strikeout. After a sacrifice fly from Carley to bring in senior Jessica Carreon in the bottom of the first, the Aggies tied the game at 1-1.  

The Hawks grabbed a 3-2 lead heading into the third inning before the Aggies retaliated heavily in the fourth. Spearman began the bottom half with a single and stolen base followed by a shot from Lunar to tie the game at three apiece. After RBIs from Patmon and senior Kendra Levesque, the Aggies posted a four-run inning for a 6-3 lead. 

The Aggies celebrate with each other on the field during Saturday’s game against Abilene Cristian. Feb. 10, 2024. (Leah De La Torre)

After holding it down in the circle, Spearman blasted a two-run homer, giving the Aggies a strong 8-3 lead in the fifth. After a string of hits, the Aggies pulled in the final two runs and with resilient defense in the final two innings, recorded their second win of the day with a 10-3 score.  

“I want to see them continue to grow together as a team and to kind of let the strengths of each individual kind of weave through and make a strong chain,” said coach Rodolph, looking forward to the rest of the season.  

Pleased with her first two collegiate wins, Spearman eagerly anticipates her career with the Aggies.  

“I was pretty excited to play,” Spearman said. “We’ve been practicing really hard so I just took my opportunity and ran with it.”  

The Aggies went on to secure two more wins (9-1, 3-1) against Abilene Christian University on day two of opening weekend. Following the 4-0 performance, the Aggies will remain at home for the Troy Cox Classic and will face Nebraska University for a double header on Friday, Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. The Aggies will continue the tournament weekend battling against Montana University on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and Sacramento State University at 5 p.m. with their final contest on Monday against North Dakota University at 3 p.m.  

 

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About the Contributors
Juliana Trujillo, Sports Editor
Juliana Trujillo is in her first year as Sports Editor and third year with Student Media. She graduates this year with a bachelors in Journalism and Media Studies with minors in Sports Marketing as well as Social Media Management. She is excited for the opportunity of Sports Editor as a previous sports writer. She plans on attending graduate school and earning her masters in Strategic Communication with the hopes of working for the MLB. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside, watching sports, and spending time with her friends. Her dog, Hazel, is also the mascot for The Round Up and is appreciated by the entire staff.
Leah De La Torre, Multimedia Specialist
Leah De La Torre is entering her second year at The Round Up as a multimedia specialist. She will be majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. She grew up in El Paso, Texas. De La Torre has been making videos with her family and friends since she was in elementary school, and her love for the camera continued through high school as she became a member of the video and broadcast team. There, not only did she learn more about photography and video making but gained an interest in journalism. Her other interests include playing the cello, sewing, and listening to her favorite music artists like Her’s and The Strokes. Working for The Round Up, she hopes to continue doing what she loves, being behind the camera and contributing to making and telling stories about her community.

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