SEATTLE - The New Mexico State softball team fell to Utah Valley in the 2014 WAC Softball Tournament Championship game, 7-6, at Logan Field in Seattle, Wash., Saturday afternoon. The Aggies end their season at 31-23.
"I'm very proud of these kids and I feel like they have grown tremendously during the season," head coach Kathy Rodolph said. "This team definitely does not have quit in them. These are quality women in all aspects of life, in the classroom, on the field and in the community. You never want it to end and it's tough when it ends before you think it should but at the same time I appreciate the battle and heart that are team showed. We didn't take a pitch off all tournament, we just got a little on our heels defensively, which is something we will need to work on for next year."
Tatum Reedy was 2-for-2 at the plate in the game, with two RBI and a homerun, while Staci Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with two RBI. Rodriguez also hit a homerun in the game. Kelsey Dodd was 1-for-3 on the day with a homerun and an RBI.
Makalya McAdams took the lost for the Aggies, pitching three and two-thirds innings, allowing six runs on six hits. Celisha Walker would pitch two and a third innings, allowing one run on one hit, while striking out five batters.
Fiana Finau, Malena Padilla, Reedy and Walker were named to the WAC All-Tournament team.
The Aggies went down in order in the top of the first, 1-2-3. The Wolverines quickly put runners on first and second to start the bottom half of the first with no outs. McAdams would walk the next batter to load the bases. A high sac fly to left scored the runner from third as the other two runners advanced and Utah Valley took a 1-0 lead. McAdams again walked the bases loaded for the second time in the inning, still with just one out. Utah Valley then hit into a 6-4-3 double play, as the Aggies stepped to the plate in the top of the second down 1-0.
Rother grounded out to start the top of the second for NM State. Dodd then hit a homerun to tie the game at 1-1, her sixth of the season. Padilla then walked on five pitches. Reedy stepped in the batter's box and hit the second homerun of the inning for NM State, making it 3-1. Utah Valley would pull Josi Summers, entering Bailey Moore. Summers pitched one and a third innings, giving up three runs on two hits.
The Aggies' top of the second continued with Covarrubia at the plate. She would draw a walk to put a runner on base with just one out. Brennalyn Nakamura hit a dribbler to third base pushing Covarrubia to second but was out at first for the second out of the inning. Rodriguez, who flied out to start the inning then hit a single to center, scoring Covarrubia from second. Adams then grounded out to third to end the inning, but not before the Aggies took a 4-1 lead over Utah Valley.
Utah Valley managed just a double in the bottom of the second before McAdams and the Aggie defense retired the side, holding a 4-1 lead after two full innings.
Three straight ground outs for the Aggie in the top of the third brought Utah Valley up to bat in the bottom of the inning as NM State led 4-1. McAdams got the first Utah Valley batters out in the bottom of the third, walking the next three batters to load the bases. McAdams then struck out the next Wolverine batter for the second out. A single straight down the left field line scored one for Utah Valley, making it 4-2. The next batter would pop out into foul play for the third out.
Reedy walked to put a runner on base with one out, but Covarrubia struck out and B. Nakamura grounded out to third to retire the side for the Aggies in the top of the fourth. NM State continued to lead 4-2.
McAdams got the first two batters out to start the inning but then walked the next two batters and gave up a three-run bomb to center field, giving Utah Valley a 5-4 lead. Utah Valley then hit a double down the left field line, still with two outs. The second double of the inning allowed Utah Valley to score its fourth run of the inning, making it 6-4. McAdams was then replaced by Celisha Walker. McAdams threw three and two-thirds innings, allowing six runs on six hits, striking out three, while walking seven batters.
Rodriguez led the top of the fifth with a ground out to the short stop. Adams then singles to the second baseman, sliding head first into first to make it on base with one out. Adams then took second on a wild pitch. Finau then struck out for the second out of the inning. Rother stepped to the plate to try and extend the inning for the Aggies. She would draw the walk to put runners at first and second with two outs. Another wild pitch allowed both runners to advance to second and third. Dodd then hit a shot right to the second baseman for the third out in the inning, as UVU continued to lead 6-4.
Walker retired the UVU side of the fifth 1-2-3, as the Wolverines continued to lead 6-4.
Padilla grounded out to third to start the top of the sixth. Reedy then beat out the throw to first base to give NM State a base runner. Devon Thomey would pinch run for Reedy, as Savannah Washington stepped to the plate to pinch hit for Covarrubia. Washington would hit a driving ball to right field but a diving catch by the right fielder made it two outs. B. Nakamura then grounded out to second to end the top half of the inning.
The Aggies got two quick outs in the bottom of the sixth before UVU hit a one-run homerun to extend their lead to 7-4. Walker then struck out the final batter to push the game to the top of the seventh.
Rodriguez steps to the plate and hit her 15th homerun of the season, cutting into the UVU lead at 7-5. Adams then grounded out the short stop. Finau stepped in the batter's box and doubled to the right field wall, as Rother came to the plate representing the tying run. She would fly out to right, advancing Finau to third as Dodd stepped to the plate with two outs. A wild pitch allowed Finau to score, making it a one-run game at 7-6. Dodd then walked to put the tying run on base. Padilla would ground out to the short stop to end the game as Utah Valley won the 2014 WAC Softball Tournament, 7-6.