SEATTLE – Seattle University softball outlasted New Mexico State, 2-1 in 10 innings, as Kaylee Ree lifted the Redhawks to a Western Athletic Conference (WAC) victory with an RBI single Friday night. NM State claimed the first game of the doubleheader at Logan Field.
Looking to bounce back after a setback in the first contest, SU (23-12, 3-2 WAC) came out hot in the nightcap. Ally Choate, Madison Cathcart, and Bailey Thompson each singled in the bottom of the first inning, producing a run.
Andie Larkins worked around trouble early in the game, including a key strikeout with the bases loaded in the top of the second frame. The senior allowed a baserunner in each of the first five innings, but kept the Aggies off the scoreboard with key strikeouts to slam the door.
The Redhawks continued to put runners on as the contest continued, but the visitors remained within a run until the sixth, when the Aggies evened the score at 1.
Smith entered with two runners on in the top of the seventh and quickly extinguished the Aggies’ hopes for a run. The sophomore got an infield pop-up and then two strikeouts to close the frame.
Olivia Viggiano stole her WAC-high 17th base in the bottom of the seventh, but SU was unable to bring her in. Smith posted a strikeout in the eighth and two more in the ninth as the game wore on.
The Redhawks loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but NM State escaped to keep the game alive. Smith threw a 1-2-3 10th, including two more strikeouts, to send SU back to the plate. Cathcart walked and then pinch-runner Baily Paul advanced on a passed ball. Thompson singled to bring Ree up. The senior came through with a clean single to right, driving in Paul and sending the SU dugout spilling onto the field in celebration.
Smith set a Division I program record for strikeouts in a relief outing with eight over four innings. She did not allow a hit in her appearance.
Viggiano and Thompson recorded three hits each, while Choate, Cathcart and Ree added two knocks apiece. Larkins was solid in the circle, going six innings and allowing just one run to go with five strikeouts.
In the first game, Samaria Diaz held down the SU offense. Breanna Timmons tallied a hit, while Bailey Thompson was hit twice. Carley Nance put together a strong outing in the circle, limiting the Aggies to four hits over seven innings. NMSU scored twice in the fifth for the first runs of the day and tacked on two more in the seventh.
The teams will wrap up the series tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Logan Field.