Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Tucson softball regional: New Mexico State advances on no-hitter

Somebody is going to have to tell New Mexico State it’s not this easy.

The Aggies, making their first appearance in an NCAA softball regional, no-hit Texas Tech in a 9-0 five-inning victory on Friday night at Hillenbrand Stadium.

“That was quick,” said Red Raiders coach Shanon Hayes, “and painful.’

New Mexico State scored two runs in the second and five in the third to take control. Meanwhile, Aggies sophomore pitcher Alex Newman struck out two and walked two in her no-hit effort.

The Aggies advance to Saturday’s 2 p.m. game to play the winner of the Arizona-Harvard game.

“I’m just so proud of the kids and how hard they played today,” said NMSU coach Kathy Rodolph. “They came out with lots of determination.

“I felt like, obviously, Alex did a terrific job. She put the ball in good spots and was able to vary the speed. I felt as a sophomore in her first regional game, that was huge.”

Shortstop Kylie Randall, with no outs in the bottom of the fifth, saved the no-hitter was a diving stop to her right, throwing out the batter from her knees.

NMSU hit three home runs, including two from third baseman Ashley Maroda. The Aggies have an excellent hitting team, entering the postseason batting .342. They now have 80 home runs in 59 games.

“They’re going to hit,” said Hayes. “They’re a good hitting team.”

Arizona swept a doubleheader at New Mexico State on March 15, winning 7-2 and 7-5 in eight innings.

The Aggies (44-15) have the sense that they are peaking at the right time, having won the past three games by shutout.

Early this week, Arizona players talked about how much the Aggies like to sing and dance and be vocal during games — definitely not a trait of this Wildcats squad.

“I feel it kind of goes back to team chemistry and really liking each other, and just living for one more day of softball,” Rodolph said.

“When you see these guys hanging out together off the field, at the hotel or at the restaurant, they like each other. It think it shows, because they have each other’s back on the field.”

Search site | Terms of service