Alex Newman allowed only three hits to lead New Mexico State to a 3-0 shutout win over Louisiana Tech Friday afternoon in the second day of the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Tournament at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.
With the loss, Tech (27-25) falls to the loser's bracket and will play No. 4 seed Texas State at 7 p.m. tonight in an elimination game.
Newman, who took a loss to LA Tech in a game played in Las Cruces in March where she allowed eight runs and 11 hits, was in complete control from the outset. After allowing a leadoff single to Tech second baseman Amanda Krueger, Newman induced a ground ball double play out by Kristen Miles and then struck Erin Kipp out to end the frame.
The Aggies (36-18) left the bases loaded in the first after Tech starter Anna Cross pitched out of a one-out jam by inducing an infield pop up and ground ball out. However, NMSU plated a run in the bottom of the second inning as Alyssa Ruiz walked, moved to second on an Emma Adams double and scored on a ground out by Amber Olive.
After Tech was set down in order by Newman in the third, the Aggies added to the lead as Ruiz came through with a two-out RBI single up the middle, plating Kelsey Dodd as NMSU led 2-0.
The lead increased to 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth as reliever Michelle Jones hit Malena Padilla with a pitch with two outs and the bases loaded, forcing Olive home with the third run of the game.
Newman retired 11 straight Tech batters until Melanie Goff doubled to left centerfield to lead off the frame in the top of the fifth. However, Newman retired Hailey Winter, Janna Frandrup and Meghan Knowles on three straight infield pop ups to end the threat.
The Lady Techsters had one final chance in the top of the seventh as Erin Kipp reached on an infield single with one out. However, Goff hit a hard ground ball up the middle that Aggies second baseman Tehani Kaaihue made a nice play on to start a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Cross (6-8) took the loss, allowing two runs on six hits and four walks in 3.0 innings while Newman picked up her 23rd win of the year against 12 losses.