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LAS CRUCES, N.M. The Ohio State softball team dropped a tough decision to New Mexico State, 3-2, in five innings Sunday afternoon in the final game of the Hotel Encanto Invitational. The Buckeyes are now 4-1 on the season.

Prior to the contest, the teams agreed to play a two-hour game to allow the Buckeyes time to travel to the airport for their return flight. Under the interpretation of the agreement by the game officials, the game was called at 1:30 p.m. MT and the score reverted back to the 3-2 mark from the end of the fifth, the last completed inning.

Prior to this decision, Ohio State went to bat in the top of the sixth and quickly loaded the bases for Courtney Pruner, who hammered a grand slam to leftfield to put the Buckeyes on top 6-3. Following the last out, Ohio State took the field for the bottom half of the inning with time to spare before 1:30; however, the Aggies did not send a batter into the box and it was eventually decided to call the game and the score reverted back to 3-2 in favor of New Mexico State.

Ohio State had eight homeruns in the tournament after Whitney Cooper hit her second blast of the season in the top of the first. Her homerun plated Alicia Herron, who reached on a walk to open the inning. The Aggies chipped away at the lead with runs in the bottom of the second and fourth before taking the lead in the fifth off a double by Ashley Maroda to score Kylie Randall.

The Buckeyes return to action next weekend at the LSU Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, La., Feb. 13-15. They open play against LSU at 6 p.m. Friday before taking on Sam Houston at 9 a.m. and Texas A&M at 11 a.m. Saturday. Consolation and championship games will take place Sunday morning. All times are Central.

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Kim Reeder, Ohio State
Rachael Shepherd, Ohio State
Sam Marder, Ohio State
Hoku Nohara, NM State
Tiare Jennings, NM State
Vanessa Fitzgerald, NM State
Ashley Munoz, Colorado St.
Caitlan Stem, Colorado St.
Emily Wethington, Ohio
Lian Gordan, Cleveland State