BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The Roadrunner softball team opened its Western Athletic Conference home series against New Mexico State on Friday with plenty of offense, but CSU Bakersfield stranded 11 women on base as the ‘Runners fell 5-2 to the Aggies.
“We were trying to be a little bit more aggressive today,” said Crissy Buck-Ziegler, CSUB’s Head Coach. “We were trying to swing more and let things happen. I think, sometimes when you want to win, it tenses you up. We just have to keep letting it go and keep swinging our sticks. I like how Lyndsay threw today and hopefully we bring it tomorrow, too.”
In the top of the first inning, NMSU’s Kelsey Horton launched a solo home run to left field to put the Aggies ahead 1-0. With two outs in the bottom of the third, designated player Jo Larios walked and was swapped out for CSUB’s starting pitcher Lyndsay Klimenko. After moving to second on a passed ball, Klimenko used a heads up play to take two bases on an infield single, scoring to tie the game at 1-1.
NMSU answered right back with three runs in the top of the fourth to take a 4-1 lead. Back-to-back triples by Destiny Blueford and Caity Szczesny brought home a pair of runs for the Aggies while Rachel Rodriguez’s double to right field capped the inning. The frame ended prematurely as freshman Karah Wiseman caught the WAC stolen base leader Rodriguez trying to steal third.
The ‘Runners loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but the Aggies induced a ground ball to get out of the threat. NMSU scored a run in the top of the sixth on a bases-loaded wild pitch, extending its lead to 5-1. CSUB then loaded the bases again in the bottom half of the frame. This time, a passed ball allowed pinch runner Ebony Harrison to score as CSUB drew within three runs.
Down to their final out in the bottom of the seventh, junior Julea Cavazos legged out a double to give the ‘Runners hope. Junior Nicole Curry reached base safely for the third time when she was hit by a pitch and CSUB found itself with the tying run at the plate. NMSU’s Samaria Diaz, who pitched two innings in relief, solidified the win and picked up a save by striking out the final batter of the game.
Klimenko did well to limit the potent Aggie offense to just its season average of 5 runs per game. Bakersfield’s senior right hander threw a complete game while giving up 11 hits and one walk. Kayla Green took the win for NMSU after pitching the first five innings and giving up two unearned runs.
Curry went 2-for-3 from the plate and added the hit by pitch for a strong offensive performance. Kaylynn Burt, Chris Hipa, and Cavazos added the other three hits for CSUB while Megan Marcy walked twice in the game.
CSUB (8-29, 1-9 WAC) and NMSU (21-19, 9-1 WAC) will return to the Roadrunner Softball Complex on Saturday to close out the WAC series with a doubleheader. Senior Day celebrations for the four ‘Runners seniors will take place between the two games. The first game of tomorrow’s doubleheader will be stream lived via the WAC Digital Network.