Skip to Content

High-Stakes Series Finale Goes to Liberty

LYNCHBURG, Virginia (KVIA) -- On a cold, windy morning that started with rainy skies, NM State Softball faced its biggest test of 2024 thus far. Despite a 9:00 AM MT first pitch, the Aggies came out strong, taking a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning. Liberty responded in the home half of the sixth, plating three runs of their own. The Aggies couldn't capitalize on their final chance, falling 4-3 in the series finale with CUSA's top seed. With the loss, NM State heads home at 26-19 overall and 11-7 in CUSA games.

Neither team recorded a hit in the first inning, but Liberty stranded three baserunners that all reached via walks. The Aggies entered the hit column with a single up the middle from Kayla Lunar in the top of the second, but failed to bring her around to score. Liberty notched a leadoff double in the home half of the second, and followed it up with a single to score the lead runner. The Flames held a 1-0 lead for several innings. 

In the fourth inning, Jayleen Burton continued her hot streak with a blast of a double to right center. The senior shortstop eventually advanced to third base on a passed ball, but did not get brought in to score with a hit. 

In the fifth inning, NM State scored all three of its runs for the ballgame. The frame was kickstarted with a Jessica Carreon double to shallow left field. On the next pitch, Jillian Taylor reached first on a perfectly-placed bunt, advancing Carreon with a single. Taylor later stole second base for her sixth swipe of the season. Dezianna Patmon caught the Flames' defense on their heels with a perfectly-placed bunt, scoring Carreon from third. After Patmon joined Taylor in scoring position with her 13th steal of the campaign, Devin Elam brought both runners home to take a 3-1 lead. The reigning CUSA Player of the Week got all of a 1-2 pitch, rocketing the ball into left field. 

The Aggies took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the frame, and the score remained until the home half of the sixth inning.

After Emily Dix allowed just one run across five innings, the Flames began to strike in the sixth. A Liberty single put a runner on that was later scored on a two-run shot to center field. The Flames knotted the game at 3-3, prompting Jaileen Mancha to enter the game out of the bullpen. 

The only batter that Mancha faced laced a double to right center on the first of the at-bat. A long foul ball and a wild pitch forced Kathy Rodolph to re-enter Dix into the circle. A single up the middle gave the home team its second lead of the game at 4-3. Dix got out of the inning with two straight outs, but the damage had been done. The Aggies failed to tally a hit in the top of the seventh, ending the game and series in Liberty's favor.


  • Jillian Taylor extended her hitting streak to 11 games with a fifth-inning single. The senior improved on her career-best streak. Before this stretch, her best mark was five straight games. 
  • Devin Elam extended her own hitting streak to nine games, past her previous best of six games. The reigning CUSA Player of the Week recorded a fifth-inning double, scoring Dezianna Patmon and Jillian Taylor for her 15th RBI in the past 11 games. 
  • The Aggies are now 11-7 in conference play, with Liberty improving to 17-4. By losing the tiebreaker with Liberty, the Aggies are no longer alive for the regular-season crown, but can still earn the No. 2 seed. The top two seeds will each receive a first-round bye in next month's CUSA Tournament.
  • Dezianna Patmon improved on her team-high stolen base total, racking up her 13th swipe on 15 attempts this season. 
  • With yesterday's win, NM State improved to 6-1 on CUSA Saturdays. The only loss came in a doubleheader with UTEP, meaning the Aggies have won a game on every Saturday of conference play. They are now 5-6 in conference games played on Friday and Sunday.
  • Emily Dix finished the week with 15.2 innings pitched. As a team, NM State played four games and faced 30 innings of home batters across the 2-2 week. 

NM State will make the long trek home and have its first midweek off in three weeks. The Aggies will take on LA Tech at home for their final regular-season series in Las Cruces. Senior Day will be held after Saturday's game; the midway point of the series. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6:00 PM MT. Those games will be broadcast on ESPN+ and available to follow via

For complete coverage of NM State Softball during the 2024 season, visit – the official home of the Aggies – and follow the Aggies on Facebook (NM State Softball), Twitter (@NMStateSoftball) and Instagram (@NMStateSoftball).

Article Topic Follows: Sports

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Bea Martinez

NMSU Athletics


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content