Las Cruces, N.M. – New Mexico State softball gets back in Western Athletic Conference play with a three-game series against UTSA on Friday, April 12-13. The series opener on Friday is set for 6 p.m. with the Saturday double bill starting at 4 p.m., at the NM State Softball Complex.
· Friday’s series opening game versus the Roadrunners is set for 6 p.m. and is available on live stats. Saturday’s doubleheader is available to listen live on KSNM AM570 with Jay Sanderson making the call.
· Each game is also available to follow along live on live stats at NMStateSports.com or on Twitter @NMStateAggies.
· Get all the updates of Aggie Athletics on Twitter and Facebook. Get in-game statistics and in-game updates on Twitter @NMStateAggies and @NMSUSoftball. Find out about all Aggie Athletics promotions and events on Facebook (NMSU Athletics and The Aggie Student-Athlete).
About the Aggies
· The Aggies (27-14, 8-1 WAC) head into the conference series fresh off a split doubleheader with No. 17 Arizona. NM State used the 3-2 win over the Wildcats to set a new record for longest winning streak with 11 games. NM State fell in game two against the nationally-ranked team, marking its first loss since the conference opener on March 22.
· NM State is leading the Western Athletic Conference with just one loss in conference play. After sweeping the most recent two league series, the Aggies moved ahead of San Jose State by one game over the last weekend. NM State.
· UTSA is 20-16 overall this season while holding a 5-4 record in WAC play. UTSA is also 8-6 on the road this season. The Roadrunners are led offensively by catcher Megan Low who has a batting average of .351 for the season with 23 RBI, eight doubles and five home runs. Since entering WAC play, the Roadrunners’ offense has been paced by outfielder Darian Blake who is hitting .438 in conference play and leads the team with 14 hits, five runs scored and three doubles.
· UTSA’s pitching staff is led by Haylee Staton who brings an overall ERA of 2.36 into the series with NM State. Staton has pitched 118.2 innings, struck out 79 batters and completed 10 games this season. Since entering WAC play, Staton has dropped her ERA to 1.53 in 32.0 innings pitched and has recorded 14 strikeouts. Behind Staton is Alyssa Vordenbaum who has a 2.42 ERA for the season with 49 strikeouts in 89.2 innings pitched. Vordenbaum also drops her ERA to 1.63 in WAC play in 30.0 innings pitched and is holding batters to a .214 batting average against her since entering conference play.
· The Aggies are currently 7-8 all-time against UTSA entering this season. The first meeting between the two teams was back in 1998 in a contest that the Aggies lost 6-7 in the University of Arizona Tournament. Their most recent meeting was in 2010 in the Hotel Encanto Invitational where the Aggies defeated UTSA 28-7.
· Newman was named WAC Pitcher of the Week for the week of April 1-7. This is Newman’s first honor this season and second in her career.The Rio Linda native worked for three wins in 17.2 innings over the week, helping NM State to sweep UT Arlington and claim first place in the conference. Newman finished her week with a perfect 3-0 record with an 0.40 ERA and holding her opponents to a .172 batting average. She boasted eight strikeouts and allowed just one earned run all weekend and two overall. She allowed just 11 hits in the circle, improving her conference ERA to 1.50 in a total of 124 innings. She worked her eighth complete game in Friday’s 5-1 win and came back for eight more innings in the 12-inning 3-2 win over the Mavs in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader. Newman is second in the conference in ERA overall and boasts a 14-8 overall pitching record.
· New Mexico State softball rattled the nationally-ranked Wildcats of Arizona in game one of the doubleheader with a come from behind 3-2 win on Tuesday afternoon, April 9. The Aggies then dropped game two 8-1 to split the series for the second straight year.
· NM State heads out on the road to meet the Texas State Bobcats on April 19-20, in San Marcos, Texas. Texas State was picked to finish first in the WAC in the preseason polls, but sits with a 9-29 record and 4-5 in WAC. The Bobcats meet UT Arlington on April 12-13, before hosting the Aggies. The teams meet for a doubleheader on Friday, April 19 at 5 p.m., and cap off the series with a single game on Saturday at 12 p.m.
Aggies in the WAC
· The Aggies lead the WAC in nearly every offensive category in league play, including batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, runs scored, hits, RBI, doubles, home runs, total bases, at bats and stolen bases.
· NM State is batting .322 as a team in WAC games to lead the league.
· The Aggies have 60 RBI in conference play which is 21 more than second place and have almost double the amount of runners batted in as half the teams in the WAC.
· NM State has scored 63 runs in league games putting them above Louisiana Tech (48) in the WAC.
· The Aggies are averaging 7.00 runs per game on 9.78 hits in conference games, putting them at the top of the conference in those categories as well.
In the Lead
· Amber Olive has a .425 batting average in 146 at bats with31 runs, 62 hits, four doubles, four triples, one home run and 18 RBI this season and a .448 on base percentage. She is currently batting a .611 in to lead the conference through WAC games and leads the WAC in hits (22) and stolen bases (6).
· Staci Rodriguez is hitting a .336 in 125 at bats and leads the team and the conference with 13 home runs this year, which is just five behind the nation-leader, Lauren Chamberlain, of Oklahoma. She has 27 runs, 42 hits, eight doubles and 42 RBI. She has a .712 slugging percentage and a .406 on base percentage.
Keep an Eye On…
· Adams is batting .305 and has three home runs this season and leads the WAC in runs scored in league play with 11.
· She is 3-for-3 in stolen bases and has three home runs this season, two coming during WAC contests and two of her three acted as game-changers for NM State leading to come-from-behind wins.
· Adams has been a pivotal player at third base with seven double plays and helping NM State to an 8-1 conference record.
Power in the Circle
· Newman has a 2.23 ERA, a 15-8 record and has pitched 131.2 innings with 61 strikeouts. She has nine complete games this season and one solo shutout with two saves. Newman has a 1.50 ERA, which is second in the WAC, a 4-1 record with just seven earned runs in 32.2 innings of conference play.
· All of NM State’s pitchers having winning records so far this season with a team ERA of 2.87. The staff has pitched 283.0 innings and thrown 155 K’s this year.
Three and Out
· This season, NM State has worked for 94 innings where the Aggie defense and pitching staff has sent the opposing team away in order.
· Sophomore Staci Rodrigues leads the conference with 13 home runs and is just five behind the nation leader, Lauren Chamberlain of Oklahoma. As a team, the Aggies boast 40 home runs with three coming from freshman Emma Adams and seven from the bat of sophomore Kelsey Dodd. Adams hit two of her three against WAC opponents and her third in the Aggies’ 3-2 win over No. 17 Arizona to set the longest win streak in program history with 11.
Aggies on Defense
· The Aggies have shown strong defensive play in the WAC and are currently in the top three in four different defensive categories since starting WAC play. NM State leads the WAC in putouts with 207, which is 18 better than second-place Texas State. The Aggies also lead the WAC with 103 assists with second-place Louisiana Tech having 79 assists. The Aggies also lead the WAC in only allowing one stolen base in conference play in six attempts. The Aggies are ranked second in the WAC in both fielding percentage (.975) and fielding double plays (4).
Aggies Break Winning Streak Record
· The Aggies recently broke their winning streak record that was set back in 2011 and spanned 10 games. The Aggies started their current winning streak on Saturday, March 23 against Louisiana Tech and carried it through April 9 when they finally lost to Arizona. The winning streak spanned 11 games and included a win against No. 17 Arizona in the first game of their double-header on April 9.
Rodriguez Sets New Standard
· Staci Rodriguez set a new program record for number of total bases in a singles game. The sophomore earned 12 total bases in the Aggies 10-5 win over Siena College (3/15). She went yard three times in the game, also breaking the record for most home runs in a single game to surpass former Aggie slugger, Hoku Nohara and teammate Kelsey Dodd.
· Rodriguez is just one home run away from tying for the fifth most in program history. Currently in that fifth spot are former Aggie standouts, Hoku Nohara (2011) and Angie Ortega (2009).
· Senior Amber Olive is just seven hits away from breaking into the single-season record book for hits. She currently has 62, and the fifth most in school history is 69, which is shared by two former Aggies.