The Aggies continue on the road to the Eller Media Stadium Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. on Feb. 28-Mar. 2. NM State plays five games on the weekend starting with Weber State at 10 a.m. and Seton Hall at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28. On Saturday, the Aggies meet Binghampton at 4:45 p.m. and UNLV at 9:15 p.m. They finish off the weekend against DePaul University on Sunday Mar. 2 at 11:15 a.m. The Aggies travel back to face UTEP in El Paso, Texas on Mar. 4 at 6:00 p.m.
Feb. 28 Weber State Las Vegas, Nev. 10 a.m.
Feb. 28 Seton Hall Las Vegas, Nev. 12:15 a.m.
Mar. 1 Binghamton Las Vegas, Nev. 4:45 p.m.
Mar. 1 UNLV Las Vegas, Nev. 9:15 p.m.
Mar. 2 DePaul Las Vegas, Nev. 11:15 a.m.
Mar. 4 UTEP El Paso, Texas 6 p.m.
The NM State softball team meets I-10 rival UTEP for a single game on Tuesday, March 4, in El Paso, Texas before heading out to the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic hosted by Texas Tech over the weekend. The Aggies meeting former WAC opponent UT Arlington on Friday, March 7 at 9 a.m. before taking on Northern Colorado at 11:30 a.m. On Saturday, the Aggies have a solo meeting with the Bears and come back Sunday for a 9 a.m. game versus UTA and finish off the weekend at 2 p.m. against host Texas Tech.
Mar 07 UT Arlington Lubbock, Texas 9:00 a.m.
Mar 07 Northern Colorado Lubbock, Texas 11:30 a.m.
Mar 08 Northern Colorado Lubbock, Texas 11:30 a.m.
Mar 09 UT Arlington Lubbock, Texas 9:00 a.m.
Mar 09 Texas Tech Lubbock, Texas 2:00 p.m.
Live Stats: www.NMStateSports.com (click on live events link) or click HERE
About the Aggies
NM State is 10-5 this season and sitting on an eight-game winning streak. NM State swept the UTEP Invitational, winning three games by run-rule. Sophomore Emma Adams leads at the plate with a .432 batting average off 16 hits and three doubles this season. It is fellow sophomore Fiana Finau that is best with four home runs and 10 RBI. She had 16 hits and is batting .421 this season.
In the circle, senior Celisha Walker is best with a 3.92 ERA in her 30.1 innings pitched. She is the reigning WAC Pitcher of the Week and has tossed one shutout with two complete games under her belt.
Weber State is 6-4 this season with a two-game winning streak going into the tournament. Led by Brook Silva with a .417 batting average, the Wildcats are hitting .243 as a team. Silva has played each of the Wildcats 10 games and has two home runs with six RBI. In the circle, MaCouley Flint leads with a 1.12 ERA and a 3-1 record with 31.1 innings pitched. She has tossed 36 strikeouts and pitched five complete games.
Seton Hall comes into the weekend with a 3-8 record with five straight losses on the road. The Pirates are led by Meredith Henze with a .448 batting average through 11 games. She has 13 hits, including five home runs, and 10 RBI this season with just three strikeouts. Casey Moses leads in the circle with a 6.79 ERA and a 103 record in eight appearances.
Binghamton has just a 2-3 record on the season with Lisa Cadogan leading the team with a .500 batting average through the first five games. The team fell to nationally-ranked Tennessee on Feb. 14 before ending the South Florida Tournament with a 9-0 win over Wright State. With three pitchers on staff, BU is led by Demi Laney with a 2.77 ERA and a 2-1 record. She has pitched 17.2 innings on the season with a shutout and just one complete game.
The Rebels are 5-9 this season while facing six ranked teams this season. UNLV took No. 24 Oregon to 10 innings before losing, but came back last week for a 5-4 upset over No. 25 Texas. Led at the plate by Pauline Monreal with 15 hits and 15 RBI with four home runs, the Rebels are hitting .290 on the year while holding their opponents to a .281 batting average. Amanda Oliveto has hurled 49.1 innings this season with a 4.40 ERA, but Morgan Ettinger has the lowest ERA with 3.04 while going 27.2 innings in the circle.
The Blue Demons are 11-4 this year, winning seven of their last eight games. Seven players are hitting over .300 right now with Kristin Verdun leading with a .356 batting average and starting each of the 15 games. She has16 hits with two doubles and has been walked eight times. She is also the top pitcher for the team with a 1.10 ERA in her 11 appearances. Verdun has two saves in her 63.2 innings in the circle and has struck out 81 so far in 2014.
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.
Rodolph is just three wins away from reaching her 500th career victory as a collegiate head coach. This is a feat she could accomplish as soon as Saturday, March 1.
WAC Hitter/Pitcher of the Week
The Aggies have claimed the first three WAC Hitter of the Week honors this season and picked up its first Pitcher of the week nod last week. Fiana Finau, Staci Rodriguez and Lacey Rother have each earned the hitting accolade, while Celisha Walker picked up the pitching honor.
- 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.
- Walker went 1-0 in two appearances last week, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
NM State has hit two 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. Just a week later, junior centerfielder Staci Rodriguez hit a walk-off grand slam to pull off a 4-3 win over Northern Colorado on Feb. 15.
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.
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.
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.