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Aggie softball drops two on the road against Dixie State

Same teams will play third and final game of series Saturday in St. George

  1. GEORGE, Utah – The Aggies showed promise in the second game of the day, however, fell in back-to-back outings at Dixie State on Friday afternoon.

    The Aggies struggled to get batters out in the early goings of game one as Dixie State tallied 14 runs in just the first two innings – providing a steep climb for even the potent Aggie offense. NM State would ultimately score just two runs as they fell 14-2 in the early afternoon contest.

    Game two was extremely competitive through six and a half innings as the Aggies tallied three runs during a two-out rally to take the lead in the sixth inning before Dixie State's offense erupted for nine runs in the bottom half of the inning to earn a 13-5 win.
    In the opener, Jordin King collected her 14th start of the season after allowing just three earned runs across her last 11.0 innings.
    Ramsay Lopez battled her walk to a base on balls before Kayla Bowen was hit by a pitch to give the Aggies their first runner in scoring position. However, the Aggies were unable to record a hit and the visitor's first at-bats would end with Lopez and Bowen still aboard.
    After King retired the first Trailblazer batter, the number two hitter, Kasey Crawford, would reach on a single through the middle of the infield. Dixie State's most dangerous hitter, Hannah Hughbanks, would follow Crawford with a single of her own to put two on the base paths. Shea Clements then came up in the cleanup spot and hit a home run just inside the left foul pole to put the first runs on the scoreboard and give DSU an early 3-0 lead.
    King picked up the second out herself as she recorded her first strikeout of the day when she sat down Oaklee Trapp to end an eight-pitch at-bat. A popup to shallow centerfield would ultimately end the first inning.
    NM State's first hit of the afternoon came off the bat of catcher Hannah Lindsay as she put a ball into left field to notch her 16th hit of the season. Gabby Aragon then tallied hit number two when she hit a slow roller through the right side of the infield. Although, Aragon would be the only Aggie on base as Lindsay was caught stealing during Aragon's at-bat. Aragon was eventually stranded as the top half of the inning ended with a strikeout.
    Following a leadoff walk, Dixie State quickly put runners in scoring position as Marisa Rubio hit a double just over the outstretched arm of Jayleen Burton at shortstop. Carly Eldredge would then drive in Dixie State's fourth run of the game with a high chopper to second base. Crawford then cleared the bases with a three-run shot to right center, giving the Trailblazers a 7-0 run with no outs in the second.
    Felicia De La Torre would make her first appearance in the circle for the Aggies as she came in to replace King in the second. Hughbanks, De La Torre's first batter, reached on a single. The following two batters would then reach on walks before Trapp hit a grand slam to put DSU ahead 11-0. After the next batter, Lockard, reached on an error, Dixie State would threaten once again as Lauren Almeida hit a double to leave the home side with runners on second and third and no outs gone. Rubio would follow Almeida with a single that would score Evans, however, two would eventually score as the Aggies recorded their second error of the inning to allow Almeida to reach home.
    NM State would record the first out of the inning after allowing seven hits as De La Torre struck out Brylee Rudd on three pitches. Dixie State would ultimately plate 11 in the second inning to put NM State in a 14-0 hole entering the third inning.
    With the top of the order due up for the Aggies, Madison Muxen used the first pitch she saw to single to third base. Muxen then moved over to second as Jillian Taylor earned a walk before Kayla Bowen would later single up the middle to bring Muxen in from second and advance Taylor to third with one out. However, the one run would be the only one the Aggies would score in the inning.
    A pair of walks and one batter hit by a pitch to start the inning would load the bases with no outs in the bottom half of the inning. The Aggies then turned up the intensity as Burton made a tough catch in shallow left center and De La Torre recorded her second strikeout of the game. A Trailblazer runner then attempted to score from third on a wild pitch, however, Lindsay would make the tag to keep Dixie State at 14 runs for the game.
    NM State's Hailey Tanori and Madison Muxen tacked on two more hits for the Aggies in the top half of the fourth inning as both singled to third base. However, neither Aggie would move past second base as the inning would conclude with a strikeout.
    After giving up a hit to the leadoff hitter in Rudd, De La Torre struck out her third batter of the day as Crawford went down looking. She then got Hughbanks to fly out and Clements to ground out as she seemed to settle into the circle – allowing no runs in her second-straight inning.
    The Aggie offense showed some life in the fifth as Kayla Bowen hit a stand-up double down the left-field line to put an NM State base runner in scoring position with one out gone. Kristen Boyd then singled up the middle in her first plate appearance of the afternoon. This would bring Bowen all the way in to score from second base. However, a Dixie State double play would end the inning and the game.
    San Diego native Laurali Patane got the ball to start the second game – making her ninth start of the season.
    Hailey Tanori returned to the top of the lineup for the first time since February 17 and was able to reach following an error by Dixie State's shortstop. Madison Muxen then hit a single to third to immediately put pressure on the home side. However, the next at-bat resulted in a double play to put two outs away and leave Tanori at third. The Aggies were unable to score Tanori and the inning would end on a pop up to first.
    The Dixie State offense did not look nearly as menacing as it did in the first game as the freshman Patane forced the Trailblazers into a three up, three down inning.
    The Aggies' were unable to record a hit in the second inning while Dixie State earned a pair of walks to start the bottom half of the inning. Trapp then put the ball in play to move the runners over to second and third before Lockard doubled to score both runners and give the Trailblazers a 2-0 lead.
    A hard-hit ball to left field by Kristen Boyd with one out appeared to give the Aggies their first base runner of the inning, however, the left fielder threw a strike to first to beat Boyd by just a hair. This would be the Aggies' closest look at recording a hit in the inning as they ended up going three up, three down.
    Following a bunt single to start the inning, Patane was able to force the next two Dixie State batters into groundouts to bring up the fourth batter with two outs and a runner on third base. This threat would turn into an added run for Dixie State as a single to left field scored the runner on third. The next at-bat would conclude the third as Patane slid one past the bat of Campbell to earn her first strikeout of the evening.
    In the second at-bat of the inning, Kayla Bowen hit a deep solo home run to score the Aggies' first run of the game and cut into the three-run deficit they entered the inning facing. Ramsay Lopez then earned her team-leading 26th walk of the season to reach base. After Jayleen Burton entered the game to pinch-run for the third baseman, Burton tallied her first stolen base of the season. Jillian Taylor then hit a two-out double to score Taylor from second. However, Taylor started to leave for third after a throwing error but was then caught in between decisions and was tagged out at second to end the top half of the inning.
    An error and a single put a pair of Trailblazer batters on base to open the bottom half of the inning. A ball hit down the line would then find Ramsay Lopez's glove and allowed the third baseman to step on the bag for the force out and then to throw across the diamond to complete the double play. The following batter then also grounded out to Lopez at third as an appreciative Patane gave Lopez a point of approval.
    After posting their most productive inning of the game in the fourth, the Aggies went three up, three down in the fifth. The leadoff hitter for Dixie State, Eldredge, then singled to start the bottom half of the inning. This prompted Kathy Rodolph to turn to Jordin King as King replaced fellow freshman Patane. Dixie State then took advantage of a pair of walks and a wild pitch as Campbell hit a sacrifice fly to score Crawford and move the Dixie State lead back to two runs.
    Ramsay Lopez was the first Aggie batter to reach base in the sixth as she hit a two-out single through the left side of the infield. Paige Knight then earned a walk to put a pair of Aggies on base and threaten with two outs. Jillian Taylor then earned a walk to load the bases with Hannah Lindsay stepping up to the plate. Lindsay took her plate appearance to extend her hit streak to eight games as she hit a two-RBI single through the left side of the infield, tying the game at four runs apiece. Melika Ofoia and Kristen Boyd then earned back-to-back walks to bring across a run and give the Aggies their first lead of the day.
    Dixie State had the answer though as they scored nine runs in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead. The first five runs of the inning came with just three hits as an error and a pair of walks allowed Dixie State the opportunity to do damage. Laura Lockard also hit a two-out three-run home run in the inning to open up the game for the Trailblazers. Eventually, the Aggies' second error of the inning put the Trailblazers in a position to close the game. An Eldredge RBI single would be the final hit of the night as Dixie State took an eight-run lead to finish the game.
    NM State will return to Karl Brooks Field Saturday at noon as they wrap up its three-game series with Dixie State. Fans can watch the final game of the series on WACSports.com/watch and can follow along with live stats at nmstatesports.com. For updates and exclusive content throughout the season, follow the Aggies on Twitter (@NMStateSoftball), Instagram (@nmstatesoftball) and like us on Facebook (NM State Softball).