Courtesy of NMSU
SEATTLE – The New Mexico State softball team completed a three-game sweep of Seattle U by taking both games of a doubleheader on Saturday, run-ruling the Redhawks in game one 10-1 in five innings before taking the series finale 6-1.
The Aggies (30-11, 6-0 WAC) begin Western Athletic Conference play by sweeping their first two conference series and get to at least 30 wins for the third-straight season. Seattle U (12-28, 1-5 WAC) has lost four of its first five WAC games. NM State now makes it seven-straight wins and has also won 12 of its last 14 games.
Senior center fielder Staci Rodriguez, the WAC Preseason Player of the Year, came up big for the Aggies on Saturday, finishing a combined 5-for-5 on the day with six total RBIs, four of which came on a grand slam during game one, Rodriguez’s 50th homer at NM State. She became only the second Aggie in program history to reach the feat. Only NM State’s all-time home run leader Hoku Nohara with 64 has more home runs as an Aggie.
In the circle, left-hander Dallas McBride and right-hander Makayla McAdams each picked up a complete-game win as both also only allowed one run to the Redhawks. Combined with Karysta Donisthorpe’s win on Friday, it is the second-consecutive weekend the three NM State starters have each picked up a win.
Game one saw the Aggies score at least one run in all five innings, beginning with a run in the first after Seattle U starter Alyssa Reuble walked three batters and hit another. The second inning saw Rodriguez hit her milestone home run with the bases loaded as NM State led 5-0 after two frames.
McBride, meanwhile, cruised through the first two innings before finally giving up her first hit and only run in the bottom of the third. She finished the game by erasing seven of the final eight batters she faced en route to improving to 8-5 on the season. McBride would only allow four singles, none of them well hit, and a walk to the Redhawks.
The Aggies added three runs in the third, one in the fourth off a Kelsey Dodd solo shot and one more in the fifth to run-rule the Redhawks. About the only negative for NM State in game one was Fiana Finau’s home run hitting streak, which ended at six-straight games with a home run after the junior went 0-for-2 in the first game. Still, she now holds the Aggie and WAC record and came one game shy of the NCAA record.
NM State once again jumped on Seattle U early during Saturday’s final game, marking three runs in the first inning. Lead-off hitter Brennalyn Nakamura, who finished the game 3-for-4 with a couple of runs scored, led off the game with a single and was followed by an Emma Adams walk, her seventh walk of the three-game series.
Rodriguez then proceeded to continue her hot day by slamming a double to left center and pick up her sixth RBI of the day as Nakamura crossed the plate. Adams and Rodriguez also scored later in the inning.
After another run in the second, it seemed the Aggies were on their way to another short-game win as they led 4-0 after two innings. But the offense seemed to stall a little as the visitors did not score again until a run in the top of the fifth and another in the final inning.
It did not matter, however, as McAdams would only need a couple of the NM State runs to grab her seventh win of the season and improve to 7-3. As McBride, McAdams would only allow more than one hit and a run in one inning as she went the complete seven innings.
The Aggies have little time to celebrate their 6-0 start to WAC play as they travel on Sunday before meeting the 19th-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils for a doubleheader on Monday at the NM State Softball Complex beginning at 4 p.m. (MDT).