Faapito slings first Aggie no-hitter in a decade in sweep
LAS CRUCES - Matalasi Faapito pitched the first no-hitter for New Mexico State softball since Alex Newman on May 20, 2011, in an 8-0 win over Tarleton State Friday afternoon at the NM State Softball Complex. Faapito wasn't the only pitcher to shine, as Chloe Rivas tossed a complete-game shutout in a 2-0 win in the second game of the day.
Faapito tossed a no-hitter and allowed just two runners to reach base, both in the third inning. Faapito struck out five Texan batters while throwing just 68 pitches.
In the batter's box, it was the Nikki Butler show, as she crushed a two-run home run in the third inning and a grand slam in the fourth inning. After a RBI single from Hope Banales in the second inning, Butler stepped up to the plate and drove an outside pitch into the wind in right field. In the fourth inning, Butler went right down the left field line for her first grand slam of the year. Gabby Aragon drove in one more run in the fourth inning on a single to give the Aggies the 8-0 lead. Faapito closed the game out in the fifth inning with two strikeouts and a groundout to give her the no-hitter.
The Aggie bats cooled off in game two, but Rivas kept the Texans off the board in the 2-0 victory. Rivas struck out the side in the first inning and did not give up a hit until the fourth inning.
Brianna Gallegos broke the tie in the bottom of the fourth inning, as she led off with her first home run of her collegiate career. Faapito gave the Aggies a little more insurance on a RBI single to score Rivas.
Rivas didn't let the Texans gain any momentum on offense, as she retired the final seven batters. Rivas gave up just three hits while tying her career high with seven strikeouts. This was Rivas' third complete game of the season.
The Aggies closed out their first WAC series sweep since 2019 with a 13-3 win in six innings on Saturday.
NM State improved to 21-18 and 6-3 in the WAC, outhitting Tarleton State 12-7.
Faapito closed the series out in the circle to even her record at 8-8. She allowed seven hits and two earned runs in five innings with five strikeouts.
Tarleton scored the first two runs in the first inning, but the Aggies scored in the first three innings and blew the game open with eight runs in the sixth inning that included home runs from Faapito and Kendra Levesque.
Maya Martinez was 3 for 3 with four RBIs for the Aggies, who travel to Dixie State next weekend.