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NMSU Softball comes up short in regular season finale

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NMSU ends their season with a loss to Arizona State, but is ready to make a run towards another WAC championship.

NMSU ends their season with a loss to Arizona State, but is ready to make a run towards another WAC championship.

NMSU ends their season with a loss to Arizona State, but is ready to make a run towards another WAC championship.

New Mexico State was unable to carry the momentum gained in Saturday’s doubleheader win over Seattle that clinched the top spot in the conference into Tuesday’s matchup against No. 8 Arizona State, with the Aggies dropping the final game of their regular season 5-1.

ASU jumped ahead early, scoring on an NMSU error to get the second inning started. The Sun Devils would add another run before Victoria Castro went yard in the bottom of the fourth inning, putting up NMSU’s lone run of the game.

The Aggies would hold their own against one of the best teams in the entire country, but just weren’t able to get things going from the plate, going seven for 27 and leaving six runners on base.

NMSU allowed three more runs, including a 2 RBI Sun Devil homer in the fifth that had the feeling of a dagger in a game that didn’t have any impact on postseason standings. This game was still an important one for head coach Kathy Rodolph and the Aggies, though, who will likely face either Arizona or Arizona State if they’re involved in post season play past the conference tournament.

“We know that if we’re fortunate enough to make it to regionals, we’re either going to Arizona or we’re going to Arizona State, so we need to collect as much information about those two teams as possible,” Rodolph said. “I feel like showing that we can compete with [a top 10 team] really sparks us to try to come in here for the WAC tournament, be our best and hope to play a week longer.”

But before NMSU can go to regionals for the fourth time in school history, they will have to take care of business in the aforementioned WAC tournament, which will take place at the NMSU Softball Complex next week.

The Aggies already secured their fourth straight regular season title last Saturday and are in good position to bring home their third WAC tournament title in four years. Rodolph has talked about the parody in the conference throughout the season, but says the team is confident entering the post season.

“We’ve played enough to understand our hype meter and we’ve really cleaned up our defense over the last two weeks and we really needed to,” Rodolph said. “I feel like the conference tournament is really going to come down to who stays within the moment, makes the routine plays and takes what the game gives them. I think we have a great shot.”

New Mexico State will have over a week to prepare and because they’re the No. 1 seed in the tournament, the Aggies get a first round bye and won’t have to play until Thursday, May 10 against the winner of Grand Canyon and CSU Bakersfield.

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NMSU Softball comes up short in regular season finale