New Mexico State completes series sweep of UTSA on Saturday
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico State completed a three-game series sweep of UTSA and ran its Western Athletic Conference winning streak to 11 games with a pair of victories in a Saturday doubleheader by scores of 7-1 and 3-2.
Darian Blake recorded a team-high four hits for the Roadrunners (20-19, 5-7 WAC) and Siera Sproul added three knocks, including a home run, which came in the first game of the twinbill.
Meanwhile, New Mexico State (30-14, 11-1) got three hits and a pair of RBIs from Staci Rodriguez, including the game-winning homer in the nightcap.
UTSA will be back in action on Wednesday, April 17, when it will host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (8-30) in a 4 p.m. twinbil.
Game 1: New Mexico State 7, UTSA 1
New Mexico State pounded out 11 hits and scored in four consecutive innings to defeat UTSA, 7-1, in Saturday's opener.
The Roadrunners threatened early and, after getting just one hit against Alex Newman on Friday, Blake quickly matched that with a double to left to start the contest. The junior from Katy tagged and went to third on a foul out down the right-field line, but she was left stranded following an infield popup and ground out.
UTSA again left a runner in scoring position an inning later after Victoria Birdwell reached on a throwing error by Emma Adams at third base. Birdwell collected her seventh stolen base of the season but could not advance further.
Meanwhile, UTSA starter Alyssa Vordenbaum danced around trouble in the second after New Mexico State loaded the bases with three singles, two of which came with two outs. Vordenbaum deflected an Adams shot up the middle to shortstop Paige Hamilton, who flipped over to Courtney Buchman at second to retire the side.
The Aggies broke through with a pair of two-out runs in the third.
Singles from Kelsey Dodd and Malena Padilla and a hit batter loaded the bases for Ayssa Vargas, who drove in two with a hit to center.
An inning later, Sproul answered her fifth long ball of the season to left center to cut the deficit in half. Joleme Graham followed with an infield hit and moved to second before she, too, was left stranded.
New Mexico State tacked on two runs in the bottom of the panel on a Rodriguez single center and she scored on a wild pitch.
The Aggies scored two more an inning later on Tatum Reedy's two-run homer and Dodd capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Vordenbaum (8-8) allowed six runs on 11 hits with a pair of strikeouts, while Newman (17-8) picked up her second win in as many days after giving up just one run on four hits. Celisha Walker yielded a pair of hits in three frames of relief for her second save of the season.
Game 2: New Mexico State 3, UTSA 2
UTSA recorded 10 hits and jumped out to a 2-0 lead only to see New Mexico State rally for the series sweep on a solo homer by Rodriguez in the sixth inning.
UTSA opened the scoring in the third with a pair of runs to take its first lead of the weekend.
Blake started the frame with a high-chopper to third that she beat out for an infield single. Buchman then laid down a perfect bunt up the first-base line for another infield hit and Blake moved to third when pitcher Celisha Walker’s throw to the bag was wild. Buchman then stole her third base of the spring to put two runners in scoring position. Graham followed with an RBI single to center that plated Blake. After a ground out moved both runners up 60 feet, Victoria Birdwell pushed the lead to two with the Roadrunners’ third infield single of the inning.
However, the lead was short lived, as the Aggies came back and tied the score in the bottom of the frame.
Padilla plated a run with a sacrifice fly to right and New Mexico State knotted the score when Emma Adams touched home before Amber Olive was thrown out trying to steal second base.
UTSA starter Haylee Staton allowed just one hit the rest of the way, which proved to be the game-winner. The Austin native retired eight consecutive batters before Rodriguez took a 1-0 pitch over the fence in center that put the Aggies ahead for good.
Newman (18-8) came in from the bullpen and worked around Sproul's two-out single in the seventh to pick up her third win of the series. She tossed the final three innings and gave up three hits, while recording a strikeout.
Staton (9-8) surrendered three runs on just two hits, walked a pair and struck out a batter.