NMSU softball came up short only once during the NM State Round Robin tournament this weekend at the NM State Softball Complex. The Aggies won three out of four tournament games, an improvement from the Troy Cox Classic tournament where the team finished with a tournament record of 2-2
On Saturday, March 4, the Aggies shared the field with University of Texas at El Paso for the first time this season. Not only did the Aggies win, but they dominated winning by nine runs.
UTEP finished the first inning with a zero on the scoreboard, but that wasn’t the case for the Aggies. Aggie utility player Kayla Bowen wrapped up the first inning by hitting a two-run home run.
The Aggies went into the third inning with a 4-0 advantage after redshirt junior Riley Carley hit a jack. Not slowing down their scoring streak, sophomore Kaylin Jackson hit a double, and junior Jayleen Burton brought it home by hitting another home run.
Stepping into the fourth inning, the Aggies led with ten runs over UTEP’s zero. They scored another two runs with ease, finishing the inning with 12 runs.
UTEP bounced back in the fifth inning after UTEP’s Savannah Favre hit a home run sending two other base runners home. The opponents finally had a number on the board, but the game ended in the fifth inning with a 12-3 run-rule win.
Jeff Young, NMSU’s assistant softball coach, explained that they went in prepared to defeat UTEP.
“We came in and we were prepared. It’s a rivalry game and obviously it’s big for both schools,” Young said. “We jumped on them early and kept the pressure on them, and I was really pleased.”
Young said the team’s great performance in the circle is what drove the team to victory.
“We were expecting to win, period,” Young said.
Kayla Bowen explained that the game was different since the team’s head coach Kathy Rodolph was absent, but according to Bowen, the team wanted to do their best for her.
“We all had to band together to make a statement … let them know that we’re still here,” Bowen said.
Later that day the Aggies went on to lose against the University of Northern Colorado by a final score of 4-6. On Sunday, they fired back, flipping the score 6-4.
The Aggies continued their winning streak when UTEP returned to the field Sunday, and lost to NMSU once again by a final score of 4-1. Slow to the scoreboard, both teams were scoreless until the third inning. Battling through all seven innings, the Aggies pulled their second defeat against UTEP.
The tournament resulted in the Aggies adding more wins to their season, bringing them to a final record of 10-7.
Hitting the road, the Aggies’ next stop is Fresno, California, for the Bulldog Classic tournament. They will begin the tournament playing a doubleheader against California State University, Fresno, on March 9. On March 10, they will be playing California State University, Bakersfield, and concluding their trip by playing the University of California, Santa Barbara on March 11.