Courtesy of NMSU
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State softball team began a three-game Western Athletic Conference series with Missouri-Kansas City by defeating the Kangaroos 6-2 on Friday at the NM State Softball Complex.
The Aggies (32-12, 7-0 WAC) remain perfect in conference play while UMKC (22-22, 2-5 WAC) falls to .500 on the season.
NM State got three solo home runs from its power hitters, Kelsey Dodd, Staci Rodriguez and Fiana Finau, and outhit the ‘Roos 10-4. Dodd and Rodriguez both finished 3-for-4 at the plate, Dodd with a game-high four RBIs.
In the circle, right-hander Karysta Donisthorpe picked the win to improve to 16-4 on the season after pitching 6.2 innings while only allowing a couple of runs, four hits and striking out six. Makayla McAdams stepped in the circle in relief after UMKC loaded the bases in the final inning. McAdams got the final out of the game to pick up her first save of the year.
Donisthorpe had a perfect game through three innings after putting down the first nine batters she faced, four of them in strikeout fashion. The Aggies, meanwhile, took advantage of one of five UMKC errors in the ball game to pick up a run in the second, and then scored another run in the third inning off of a Dodd RBI single up the middle.
NM State led 2-0 after three full innings, but the ‘Roos cut the lead in half and down to a single run after finally getting a hit off of Donisthorpe and scoring a run in the top half of the fourth inning. The Aggies and UMKC were locked in a 2-1 pitching duel after four innings of play.
After UMKC starter Amber Grove took down the first two NM State batters in the fifth, Dodd came up and belted her sixth home run of the season to put the Aggies up 3-1. Malena Padilla followed with a single and later scored her second unearned run of the game after a couple more errors by the visitors.
The ‘Roos got a run back in the top half of the sixth, but NM State quickly answered after the first two Aggie batters in the bottom of the frame hit power shots over the left-field fence. Rodriguez began the inning with her 13th home run of the season and the 53rd of the Aggie career. Finau then followed with a booming shot that almost landed in the Presley Askew Field outfield. It was Finau’s WAC-leading 16th home run of the season.
UMKC loaded the bases in the final inning on an error, walk and hit batsmen, but with the tying run at the plate McAdams came in and got the final out to preserve the NM State win.
The two teams will conclude their three-game series on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. at the NM State Softball Complex. The first game will be televised live by the AggieVision production team in New Mexico on Comcast Cable channel 77. The game can also be seen by satellite subscribers on Altitude 2 and FOX Sports Southwest Plus. ESPN3 will also stream the game live over the Internet for free.