RUSTON, La. (April 4) - The New Mexico State softball head coach Kathy Rodolph coaches game No. 500 of her NM State career Friday during a Western Athletic Conference (WAC) contest against Louisiana Tech at 5 p.m. MT Friday at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.
The Aggies and Lady Techsters meet again for a Saturday doubleheader also beginning at 12 p.m.. Fans may receive live updates via Twitter at the Aggies' official account, @NMStateAggies. A live stats link is also available at NMStateSports.com.
Coach Rodolph directed game No. 499 in the Aggie dugout during the series finale against Hawai'i last Saturday. Rodolph is currently 248-251 in 499 games in nine seasons as the NM State skipper.
Later this season Rodolph is scheduled to coach the 800th game of her coaching career in the final home contest of the regular season against Utah State, Sat. April 28, which also happens to be Aggie Senior Day for the team's five seniors. Rodolph is currently 444-343 overall in 787 career games.
NM State (18-19, 0-6 WAC) suffered a three-game sweep at home to No. 15 Hawai'i last weekend. The Aggie offense continued to struggle in WAC play after being held to five runs and 12 hits on the weekend highlighted by multiple hits from freshman Tina Cisneros and a home run from sophomore Valerie Swedberg.
Louisiana Tech (15-19, 2-3) has had its last two games postponed or canceled due to weather in the past week. The Lady Techsters lost both games of a doubleheader at San Jose State last Friday. LT fell 4-2 in 10 innings in game one and lost 5-1 in game two. Game three was cancelled Saturday as was a Wednesday evening contest in Ruston against Northwestern State.
This season the Lady Techsters are 4-2 overall at home including a pair of wins over Utah State in the opening week of conference play. NM State is 2-6 in true road games this year with four straight road setbacks. The Aggies are 8-13 in games away from home in 2012.
NM State swept LA Tech in three games last April in Las Cruces. The Aggies took game one, 7-1, and swept both doubleheader games by a single run apiece. NM State won 5-4 in eight innings in game two and 3-2 in the series finale.
The Aggies also swept LT in 2006 in their first season in the WAC. Sandwiched in between the sweeps, the Lady Techsters won four straight series by a count of 2-1. As a result, Rodolph is 10-8 all-time against LA Tech.
NM State leads the all-time series 15-9. Prior to their WAC meetings, LT won the first meeting 1-0 in 1984 while NM State won 7-5 in 1998. The Aggies swept four games in 2001 when both teams were members of the Sun Belt.
The teams share just two common opponents this season and are undefeated against those foes. NM State swept UTEP in a home-and-home series this year while LA Tech blanked the Miners 5-0 in a neutral-site game Feb. 19. The Aggies shutout Stephen F. Austin 12-0 in five innings at home on Feb. 18. The Lady Techsters edged SFA 6-5 on the road Feb. 29.
Five active Aggies are hitting .315 or above after two weeks of WAC play. They include Aggie junior Amber Olive (.387), senior Tiare Jennings (.363), freshman Malena Padilla (.333), classmate Briana Tovio-Asato (.322) and sophomore Valerie Swedberg (.315).
Two Aggies also hitting above .300 this year were lost two weeks ago to knee injuries. The pair includes sophomore Kristi Covarrubia (.357) and junior Tehani Kaaihue (.303).
Olive leads the team with 15 multi-hit games this season. Tovio-Asato has an active streak of 19 games in which she has reached base via a walk or hit. Swedberg hit the Aggies' lone home run last weekend against Hawai'i to take over the team lead with seven homers this season.
Sophomore Celisha Walker, freshman Karysta Donisthorpe and junior Alex Newman lead the Aggies in the circle this year. Walker leads the team with a 3.71 ERA and a 4-2 record with four starts. In 17 appearances, she has 20 K's in 39.2 innings pitched.
Donisthorpe carries a 4.13 ERA this season and a 5-5 ledger with 11 starts. She has allowed 49 earned runs in 75.1 innings of work. Newman is 9-10 this season with a 4.34 ERA. In over 103.1 innings pitched she has surrendered 64 earned runs. Newman also leads the team with 20 starts in the circle in 2012.
Three Lady Techsters boast batting averages of .300 or above at the plate. Melanie Goff leads the way at .386 with 22 hits. Janna Frandrup has a team-high 32 hits and is batting .368. Erin Kipp carries a .347 average and a team-high .592 slugging percentage.
Michelle Jones has logged the most innings, 112.1, in the circle for LA Tech this season. She has a 9-9 record in 19 starts this season with a 2.62 ERA. Kipp is next on the team with 46.2 innings in 13 appearances but carries a 5.55 ERA.
Click NMStateSports.com for all of the latest Aggie softball news this season.