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Aggies Rekindle Rivalry with SJSU; Wrap Tournament Play with Fresno State Classic
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  03/12/2014

What’s Up

NM State continues on the road with a single game at San Jose State, March 13 at 1 p.m. The team then travels to Fresno State for five games beginning with Pacific at 4:45 p.m. on Friday, March 14. The Aggies also face St. Mary’s for the second time this season at 9:15 p.m. On Saturday, NM State meets Colorado State at 7 p.m. and host Fresno State at 9:15 p.m. To close out the weekend, the Aggies face Cal Poly at 12:15 p.m.

March 13               SJSU                        San Jose, Calif.      1 p.m.

March 14               Pacific                    Fresno, Calif.         4:45 p.m.

March 14               St. Mary’s               Fresno, Calif.         9:15 p.m.

March 15               Colorado State      Fresno, Calif.         7 p.m.

March 15               Fresno State          Fresno, Calif.         9:15 p.m.

March 16               Cal Poly                  Fresno, Calif.         12:15 p.m.

Live Coverage

Live Stats: www.NMStateSports.com (click on Audio/Video link) or click HERE

Twitter: @NMStateAggies

Next Week

NM State will square off against I-25 rival, New Mexico on March 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the NM State Softball Complex. The Lobos have an overall record of 8-16 on the season while the Aggies are 15-10. In three meetings last year, the Aggies came away victorious twice, holding the Lobos to zero runs in the two wins combined.

About the Aggies

With 15 wins and 10 losses on the season, NM State currently holds the best record in the Western Athletic Conference. The Aggies struggled early on as they started the season 2-5 with two losses coming against ranked opponents, but since then they have caught fire winning 13 of their last 18 games. That stretch was highlighted by an eight game win streak that began on Feb. 15 against Northern Colorado and ended on Feb. 28 versus Weber State. NM State has posted back-to-back wins in their previous two outings as they head into their next matchup against San Jose State. In four games versus San Jose State a year ago, the Aggies failed to grab a victory.

Aggies in the WAC

Leading all WAC team with a 15-10 overall record, the Aggies are backing up there league leading offense with some impressive work in the circle. 

With a team batting average of .302, the Aggies sit atop the WAC in almost all offensive categories, scoring 135 runs with 194 hits and 33 home runs.  Leading the league with 33 homers, NM State is averaging 1.32 home runs a game, with the next closest opponent (Seattle U) only averaging 0.68 homers a game. 

With 4.80 RBIs a game, the Aggies offense has been explosive this year lead by the bats of Staci Rodriguez and Fiana Finau.  With Finau averaging a WAC best .38 home runs a game and Rodriguez right on her heels averaging .36 home runs a game, the two also lead the WAC in RBIs, with Rodriguez averaging 1.16 and Finau averaging .92 RBIs a game.

NM States defense has come up big this season, allowing only 117 runs this season, placing them third in the WAC in runs allowed, while only giving an average of 4.39 earned runs a game, putting them in second in the WAC.  Sitting in second place for teams in the WAC in strikeouts, the Aggies sit at 91 on the season, only one strikeout behind WAC leader Seattle U (92).  With an opposing batting average of .291, the Aggies are second in opposing batting averages.  NM State’s pitchers sit atop the leaderboards only allowing 8.33 hits a game.

About San Jose State

The San Jose State Spartans are led by the reigning WAC Coach of the Year, Peter Turner. Turner is in his eighth season as the head coach of the Spartans and led the Spartans to the 2013 WAC regular season and tournament titles. After starting off the 2014 season with seven straight victories, the Spartans have struggled to find consistency; currently in the midst of a five game losing streak and they have an overall record of 11-11 on the season.

Jessica Garcia will be a player to watch for the Spartans. She leads the team in RBI with 30and home runs with five. Jessie Hufstetler is also a key contributor for this squad. She holds the top batting average on the team with .492 and leads the team in hits and runs with 30 and 19 respectively.

SJSU vs. The Aggies

This season’s matchup between two familiar foes may be a bit different than the previous meetings as both teams are looking to new pitchers to lead the way, while no longer competing as conference rivals. SJSU defeated NM State five times during the 2013 season, on their taking away the WAC title from the Aggies. NM State still holds an all-time record of 26-30 against the Spartans.

About Pacific

The Pacific Tigers are led by head coach Brian Kolze, who is in his 22nd season with the program. The Tigers are currently 7-11 on the season with their last game resulting in a victory over Hawaii. They have been particularly good at home where they have a record of 3-0 on the season. As the Tigers travel to Fresno, Calif., to participate in the Fresno State Classic, they will open up against tournament host Fresno State on March 13, 2014.

The Tigers have a well-balanced attack with multiple players who could pose a threat to an opponent. Taylor Petty leads the team with a .431 batting average, while Cassidy Gustafson leads the squad with 15 RBI and Megan Foglesong leads the team with 18 runs.

Pacific vs. NM State

NM State is set to take on Pacific University for the 45th time in in program history. The Aggies have an all-time record of 17-28 against Pacific. The last meeting between the two teams was in 2013, as Pacific defeated NM State by a final score of 10-2.

About Saint Mary’s (CA)

The Gaels of Saint Mary’s have had an average season to this point. On the year, the Gaels have an overall record of 11-12. With a 1-1 home record, a 2-2 away record and an 8-9 record in neutral venues, these records sum up the season for Saint Mary’s, a team that is struggling to excel in any aspect of the game. The Gaels are led by Jessica Hanaseth-Rodgers, who is in her 10th season as the head coach for Saint Mary’s.

The Gaels have a lot of contributors who pose a threat to their opponent. Cassidy Szeredy leads the team with a .322 batting average while Erica Musgrave and Andrea Hazel are tied for first on the team with 8 RBI each. Brittany Sabatini leads the squad 21 hits and she is second on the team in runs with nine.

STMC  vs. NM State

The teams are 6-3 all-time with St. Mary’s leading the series. The most recent meeting between the teams came earlier this season, with victories going to NM State in both games.

About Colorado State

The Colorado State Rams have been a solid team this year with a 10-5 overall record on the season. They have played very well at neutral sites, winning seven games and only losing three. The Rams enter the Fresno State Classic coming off a loss to Nebraska-Omaha at home by a score of 0-4. Jen Fisher is in her fourth season as the head coach for Colorado State.

The Rams are led by the talented tandem of junior infielder, Danielle Wikre and senior outfielder, Chelsea O’Connor. Wikre leads the team with a .465 batting average and she also leads the squad in hits with 20. O’Connor leads the team with 18 RBI and four home runs.

CSU vs. NM State

The matchup between Colorado State and NM State contains familiar foes as the two teams played each other twice during the 2013 season. The Aggies were victorious in the most recent meeting, and have an all-time record of 30-24 against the Rams.

About Fresno State

The Fresno State Bulldogs are led by first year head coach Trisha Ford. On the season, the Bulldogs are 12-8 with their last two games resulting in victories over two top 15 opponents in No. 14 Nebraska and No. 6 Washington. Before those two victories, Fresno State had dropped their previous four games. The Bulldogs have played a tough schedule to this point, already having faced seven top 25 teams. Through those seven games they are 2-5. Fresno State looks to build on their current two game win streak with their next matchup coming against Pacific in the Fresno State Classic.

The Bulldogs are led by junior outfielder, Brenna Moss. Moss leads the team in multiple categories including a .333 batting average, 18 runs and 22 hits on the season. Senior infielder, Stesha Brazil and junior outfielder, Michelle Solomon will also be players to watch for this squad. Brazil leads the team with 22 RBI and four home runs while Solomon places second on the team in runs (14), hits (15), home runs (2) and RBI (15).

FSU vs. NM State

The Aggies are set to take on Fresno State for the 37th time in program history. The previous meetings between the two teams came during the 2012 season as the Bulldogs defeated the Aggies. NM State is 5-32 all-time against Fresno State, which includes several meetings as WAC opponents.

Cal Poly

Going into the weekend with a 13-9 record, the Mustangs are just 0-2 on the road, but boast an impressive 6-0 record at home. The team is riding a six-game winning streak going into the weekend, while winning eight of their last nine. Cal Poly met UNLV earlier this year and fell 6-0, whereas the Aggies defeated the Rebels 5-4. The Mustangs also met New Mexico in late February for a 6-1 win over the Lobos. NM State is set to meet the in-state rival next week.

Emily Ceccacci leads the team with a .405 batting average off 30 hits and 16 runs. She had 10 RBI, good for second on the team. It is Lauren Moreno and Sierra Hyland who lead with 15 RBI and three homeruns each. In the circle, Hyland is best with a 1.91 ERA and a 10-3 record. She had pitched 11 complete games with 104 strikeouts in 91.2 innings.

Cal Poly vs. NM State

NM State is 10-4 all-time versus Cal Poly. The most recent matchup between the two teams was in 2008 as the Aggies were victorious against the Mustangs.

 

Rodolph’s Road to 300

In the midst of her 11th season as head coach for the New Mexico State softball team, Kathy Rodolph clinched her 300th career victory as the Aggies head coach in an 11-2 win over Incarnate Word on Saturday, Feb. 22. She entered the 2014 season with a record of 291-281 all-time at NM State.

Nearing 500 - Mission: Complete

Rodolph secured her 500th career win as a collegiate head coach. She reached 300 wins as the Aggies head coach just one week before reaching the milestone of 500. The win came in a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over UNLV at the Eller Media Stadium Classic on March 1. 

WAC Hitter/Pitcher of the Week

The Aggies have claimed the four three WAC Hitter of the Week honors this season in as many weeks along with one Pitcher of the week nod. Fiana Finau, and Lacey Rother have each earned the hitting accolade and staci Rodriguez claimed it twice, while Celisha Walker picked up the pitching honor.

(Feb. 24-March 2) Rodriguez hit .700 with five home runs, 10 RBI, nine runs scored and a stolen base at the Eller Media Stadium Classic last week. She posted an impressive 2.200 slugging percentage with two home runs, including her second grand slam of the season.

(Feb. 17-23) Finau hit .545 with six RBI, four runs scored, two doubles and two home runs as the Aggies went 5-0 at the UTEP Invitational last week. She had a hit in each of her four games and posted a 1.273 slugging percentage and helped NM State defeat HBU with two home runs. She closed out the weekend with a pair of doubles in a six-inning win over Incarnate Word on Sunday.

(Feb. 17-23) Walker went 1-0 in two appearances, allowing just two hits and no runs while throwing three strikeouts in nine innings of work. She threw three hitless innings in relief for an 8-3 win over Houston Baptist on Friday. On Sunday, she earned a complete-game win, allowing just two hits over six innings while striking out two in the 8-0 run-rule win over Incarnate Word. She ended the week with a 0.00 ERA and held opponents to a .074 batting average.

(Feb. 10-16) Junior Staci Rodriguez  .claimed the hitting honor for the week of Feb. 10-16 by hitting .333 with five RBI, three runs scored and two home runs at the Troy Cox Classic. In a game against Northern Colorado, the Aggies trailed 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh when she hit a walk-off grand slam to give New Mexico State a 4-3 victory.  Rodriguez added another solo home run in a 5-4 win over Iowa State.

(Feb. 3-9) Junior Lacey Rother was named Hitter of the Week after opening week (Feb. 3-9) with two home runs on the weekend, including a game-winning grand slam against cross-border rival UTEP, helping the Aggies to an 8-6 win. She finished the weekend hitting .385 with three runs and five RBI while slugging .846.

Grand Slams

NM State has hit three game-winning grand slams in as many weeks during the 2014 season. Junior catcher Lacey Rother hit the first of the season against I-10 rival UTEP on Feb. 9, lifting NM State to an 8-6 win over the Miners. Junior centerfielder Staci Rodriguez hit a walk-off grand slam to pull off a 4-3 win over Northern Colorado on Feb. 15 and then came up with another in the 13-3 win over Binghamton on March 1.

Walk-Off’s

The Aggies have had three walk-off wins this season. The most recent was in the 4-3 win over UT Arlington (3/9) when Rodriguez hit a two-run bomb to immediately end the game in the bottom of the seventh. The first two of the season were in back-to-back games during the second week of the 2014 season. Rodriguez hit her first grand slam of the season to end the game with a 4-3 win over Northern Colorado. The other was in the 5-4 win over Iowa State with an RBI single to stop play.

Preseason All-American

Junior outfielder Staci Rodriguez was named to the All-American second team by CollegeSportsMadness.com. This comes just days after she was named Preseason Player of the Year for the Western Athletic Conference by the website.  She was the only WAC player named on the four teams.

Preseason All-WAC

NM State was selected to finish first in the WAC, while junior Staci Rodriguez and sophomore Emma Adams named to the preseason All-WAC team.

NM State earned 25 points and five first-place votes with Seattle U receiving one vote and 19 points. Utah Valley received 14 points and was picked to finish third in the league, while Bakersfield had 13 points was picked one place behind the Wolverines. Rounding out the league was Kansas City with 10 points and Grand Canyon with nine.

Rodriguez and Adams were selected as part of the preseason All-WAC team, along with 10 other student-athletes from around the conference. Rodriguez was named first team All-WAC and WAC Player of the Year after a successful 2013 season where she finished with 20 home runs and 63 RBI. Adams, a second team All-WAC selection in 2013, was impressive in her freshman season, starting 48 games at third base and leading the team with 129 assists, while hitting .286 with nine doubles and 15 RBI.

Top Returner

Rodriguez earns the accolade after finishing the 2013 season with a WAC-leading 20 home runs and a .357 batting average. She was named WAC Player of the Year, first team all-conference and was an All-Pacific Region selection at the conclusion of her sophomore season. Rodriguez led the Aggies and the league high with 63 RBI and a .780 slugging percentage. She goes into her junior campaign as the WAC’s leading returner for on-base percentage (.437), runs (36), and hits (60) along with batting average, RBI and slugging percentage.

Top Returning Pitcher

The Aggies have a solid returning pitching staff in senior Celisha Walker, redshirt sophomore Karysta Donisthorpe and sophomore Makayla McAdams. Walker pitched to a 4-2 record with two saves in her 83.2 innings at work. McAdams saw 64.1 innings in the circle and collected 23 strikeouts with just two home runs allowed. Donisthorpe pitched 39 innings before an ankle injury ended her season. She managed 47 K’s in her 11 appearances and had 12 (career high) against San Diego (2/24).

NM State in 2013

NM State had an overall 37-20 record last season with an 18-7 league record. The Aggies finished second in the regular season behind San Jose State. NM State’s season was highlighted by 11-straight wins, which was a best in program history. The 11th win came against No. 17 Arizona in a midweek game when the Aggies prevailed with a walk-off home run by freshman Emma Adams.

The Season also saw NM State come back from a 7-3 deficit in the bottom of the seventh against Seattle U with a walk-off home run for three RBI by senior Teresa Conrad.

Senior Amber Olive started 144 career games for the Aggies and led the conference in 2013 in hits (79) and runs (41). Her .393 batting average was second in the conference for 2013, and she recorded 47 RBI, 322 stolen bases and 186 hits in her career. She was a 2013 first team All-WAC selection, NFCA All-Pacific Region selection and was named the National Strength and Conditioning Association All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year.

NM State had three first team All-WAC selections (Amber Olive, Alex Newman, Staci Rodriguez) and three second team nods (Emma Adams, Kristi Covarrubia, Malena Padilla). Rodriguez was named WAC Player of the Year and she and Olive were All-Pacific Region selections.



‹ New Mexico State Softball


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