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NMSU softball opens WAC Tournament with victory over Utah Valley

SEATTLE – Senior Karysta Donisthorpe threw a career-high 13 strikeouts as she led the NM State softball team to a 5-2 win over fifth-seeded Utah Valley on Thursday afternoon at Logan Field.

The Aggies (37-19) scored five runs and racked up four RBIs on eight hits, but Donisthorpe was the highlight of the game as she led NM State to victory. The senior threw a career-high 13 strikeouts, allowed just three hits and had zero walks in 20 batters faced. Her previous career-high was 11 against South Dakota on Feb. 24, 2013.

From the first to the fourth inning, Donisthorpe threw eight strikeouts in a row with seven batters going down swinging. Overall, Donisthorpe struck out three batters looking and 10 batters swinging.

Utah Valley (9-42) scored two runs and had two RBIs on six hits. Bailey Moore allowed five runs on eight hits in 31 batters faced.

The Aggies took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning. Emma Adams hit a double to left center. Kelsey Horton reached on a fielder’s choice as Adams was tagged out at third base. Horton stole second before Fiana Finau was walked to put runners on first and second. Corrin Green then singled to straightaway center to score Horton as NM State took a 1-0 advantage.

NM State extended their lead in the bottom of the second inning. Victoria Castro was walked and advanced to second as Haley Nakamura hit a sacrifice bunt to third base. Amy Bergeson then reached on an error by the shortstop before Rachel Rodriguez was walked to load the bases. Horton singled to straightaway center and advanced to second on the throw as Castro and Bergeson scored. Rodriguez advanced to third and then scored on a throwing error by the third baseman on the same play to give the Aggies a 4-0 advantage.

The Aggies scored again in the bottom of the fourth inning. Finau was walked and moved to second as Green singled to the shortstop. Tatum Reedy then hit a single to first base to score Finau as NM State took a 5-0 lead.

Utah Valley cut into NM State’s lead in the top of the seventh inning. Brittney Vansway reached on an Aggie error and Bryanna Fox entered as a pinch runner. Tiana Hensley singled to straightaway center field and Kori Barrios singled up the middle to load the bases. Dynasty Lauvai reached on an Aggie error as Fox scored. Cera Stanley then singled to third base to score Hensley, but Kayla Green’s strikeout and a groundout to Rodriguez secured the 5-2 victory for the Aggies.

The Aggies take the field again tomorrow as they take on CSU Bakersfield at 2:00 p.m. MT at Logan Field in Seattle.

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