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NM State softball drops a pair to No. 25 Arizona

Celebration of Aggie legend Kathy Rodolph's 750th career win is dampened

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. – On a night when Aggie head coach Kathy Rodolph was recognized for her 750th career win, the Aggies welcomed No. 25 Arizona. The Wildcats came to town and were able to steal a pair from the hometown Aggies.
 
In the opener, NM State had the Wildcats on the ropes when they tied the score at seven runs apiece in the fourth inning, however, their Pac-12 foe was eventually able to earn the 14-9 victory. The second tilt would also lean Arizona's way as they allowed the Aggies to record just one hit on the way to defeating NM State 11-0 in six innings.
 
GAME ONE
The Aggies immediately looked up to the task as they held the Cats to a scoreless first before an Arizona error allowed the Aggies to load the bases in the bottom half of the inning. NM State then took advantage of the error as Maya Martinez singled up the middle to bring home Ramsay Lopez before Carley followed Martinez's at-bat with a single of her own to score Kayla Bowen and give the Aggies an early 2-0 lead.
 
The Cats responded in the second inning with four straight two-out singles coupled with a pair of walks to score five runs and take their first lead of the day. The Aggies then answered by battling at the plate to earn a pair of walks before Kayla Bowen notched her 11th double of the season to allow Jillian Taylor to score and reduce Arizona's lead to two runs after two innings.
 
An RBI double in the top of the third forced an Aggie pitching change as Rodolph gave the keys over to Laurali Patane. The Wildcats would eventually equal the Aggies' run total from the second inning to regain a four-run lead entering the fourth.
 
The fourth inning was where the Aggies did the bulk of their damage as Patane began the inning by pitching a one-two-three inning in the top half. The NM State bats then came alive with Muxen's pinch-hit appearance resulting in a single up the middle to lead off the fourth. Tanori then followed Muxen with a single of her own before Ramsay Lopez came up two batters later and emptied the bases with a three-run home run to put the Aggies within one run. Kayla Bowen then went yard in the very next at-bat to even the score at 7-7.
 
As they did in the second inning, the Arizona offense had an answer to the Aggies' big inning as they put up two runs in the bottom of the fifth to go ahead 9-7.
 
Arizona would then tack on three additional runs in the top of the sixth to take a 12-7 advantage. NM State would not go down without a fight as it scored two runs of its own in the bottom half of the sixth inning. The first run would come as a result of a solo shot from Lopez who notched her second bomb of the game. Meanwhile, the Aggies' score reached nine when a wild pitch with the bases loaded allowed Maya Martinez to score from third.
 
The Cats managed to cross home plate two more times in the seventh, marking the final runs of the first game and giving Arizona the 14-9 victory.
 
GAME TWO
Arizona kicked off the scoring in the first inning as Skaggs hit a solo shot to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead after the first.
 
A Wildcat home run in the second would help Arizona increase its lead to three runs as a runner stood on base this time around. In a game in which the Aggies struggled offensively, NM State's lone hit came in the bottom of the second inning when Jillian Taylor played a bunt in between the pitcher and first baseman who was charging home plate in anticipation of the bunt.
 
The visitors would tally two more runs in the top of the third with the first run coming off the bat of Palacios who led off the inning for the Wildcats. The Wildcats would then add a run later in the inning when Biringer hit a two-out single down the left-field line to score Pacho from second base.
 
After the conclusion of the top of the third, the next 13 at-bats would belong to the pitchers as neither side could record a hit. The only success that came for either side was in the form of walks as both NM State and Arizona each put one base runner on thanks to balls thrown out of the strike zone.
 
The no-hit streak would eventually end when Arizona's Dimler singled through the right side of the infield, bringing across Skaggs who sped home from second base. This would push the Arizona lead to six runs as the Aggies remained scoreless.
 
The most impactful at-bat of the day came in the top of the sixth inning when the Wildcats loaded the bases before Skaggs took a pitch and sent the ball over the right-field wall to quickly turn a 6-0 score into a 10-0 score.
 
With the Aggies unable to record a hit in the bottom half of the sixth, the game would wrap up as a result of the run rule.
 
UP NEXT
NM State remains at home for its upcoming series as they return to WAC play this Friday and Saturday. The Aggies will take on California Baptist with Friday's game beginning at 6 p.m. and Saturday's doubleheader kicking off at 4 p.m. All three games can be viewed at WACsports.com/watch while live stats can be found at nmstatesports.com.