Aggies streak to 10, beat North Dakota 9-4

Courtesy of NMSU

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State softball Aggies ran their winning streak to 10 straight as they wrapped up the NM State Round Robin Tournament with a 9-4 victory over North Dakota at the NM State Softball Complex.

The Aggies (18-7) took advantage of the long-ball, bashing a 3-run home run and a pair of 2-run shots.

Junior righthander Karysta Donisthorpe (10-2) collected nine strikeouts, while giving up two hits and one unearned run in pitching 6 1/3 innings.

North Dakota (3-15) dropped all five of its game in the tournament, with Hannah Bergh (3-6) going the distance allowing nine runs, seven earned, and striking out seven as the Aggies racked up 10 hits.

“The winning streak is really special, but we really don’t focus on wins and losses and that’s unusual to say,” said NM State head coach Kathy Rodolph. “But we try to keep the kids pitch-by-pitch and growing with each game because we want to make sure we’re get better every game. And that’s what’s happening and fortunately we’ve been able to come out with some wins.”

North Dakota drew first blood in the top of the third when Taylor Hansen reached on an error and came home on a double by Jackie Lilek.

But the Aggies answered with three in the bottom of the third as junior Fiana Finau blasted a 3-run homer that plated Emma Adams and Brennalyn Nakamura for a 3-1 advantage.

In the top of the fourth, Donisthorpe was subbed in the NM State circle by freshman Dallas McBride.  North Dakota took advantage of the change by roughing up McBride for three runs on three hits, including a solo homerun by Shelby Hard.

Donisthorpe returned to the circle with two out in the inning after UND had retaken the lead 4-3 on a bases-loaded walk and got the next batter to foul out.

Donisthorpe would not allow another run for North Dakota.

“Karista got it done with her rise ball today,” said Rodolph. “We tried to change it up a bit because of all the innings we’ve had, but she came through.”

The Aggies came back for good in the bottom of the fourth against UND with Lucy Mendoza scoring on a wild pitch, Brennalyn Nakamura crashing a 2-run round tripper and Adams scoring on a wild pitch.

The Aggies wrapped up the scoring in the sixth with Malena Padilla smashing a 2-run homer to left that scored Adams for the third time in the game.

“We have been really swinging with authority all weekend,” said Rodolph. “The strength of our offense is that so many people are carrying the weight. And we definitely did that this weekend.”

The Aggies are back in action on Tuesday as Middle Tennessee visits for a single contest with a noon first pitch at the Softball Complex.

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