The New Mexico State softball team heads into the week with a single game versus I-10 rival UTEP at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in El Paso, Texas. The team then travels to Lubbock, Texas for the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic, March 7-9. 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.
March 7 NM State vs. UT Arlington Lubbock, Texas 9 a.m.
March 7 NM State vs. Texas Tech Lubbock, Texas 4:30 p.m.
March 8 NM State vs. Northern Colorado Lubbock, Texas TBA
March 9 NM State vs. UT Arlington Lubbock, Texas 9 a.m.
Live Stats: www.NMStateSports.com (click on live events link) or click HERE
The NM State softball team 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.
About the Aggies
With a 13-8 record going into the weekend while hitting .313 as a team, the Aggies look to snap a two game losing streak after falling to DePaul and UTEP most recently. Junior Staci Rodriguez leads the team with a batting average of .439, 25 hits, and 25 RBI. Sophomore Fiana Finau has a batting average of .393, 22 hits and 20 RBI. Rodriguez and Finau each have eight homeruns.
In the circle senior Celisha Walker leads with a 2.96 ERA, 25 strike outs, and 49.2 innings pitched. Freshman Makayla McAdams is 5-1 and has made nine appearances; she tallies a total of 14 strike outs this year.
The Red Raiders (13-6) are led by slugger Cassie MClure, who has a BA of .447 on the season, with 21 hits and 17 RBI in 47 at bats, with a slugging percentage of .702. Texas Tech has outscored their opponents 97-54 on the year, with a combined BA of .303 and an ERA of 2.15, led by pitcher Gretchen Aucoin with an ERA of .76 in 36.2 innings pitched.
Texas Tech vs. The Aggies
NM State (13-8) beat the Red Raiders to end the 24th Annual Troy Cox Classic Sunday, Feb. 16, with a sixth inning rally to end the game 8-6. Texas Tech went up big in the top of the fifth, going up 6-2 on the Aggies on four hits and a sacrifice bunt. NM State rallied in the bottom of the fifth though, getting five straight hits and a wild pitch to take the lead and win the game 8-6.
The Mavericks are adjusting to their first season in the Sun Belt conference under second year head coach Kristie Fox. On the season, UT Arlington has an overall record of 11-8 and Britnea Barilli and Nina Villanueva are the players to watch for UT Arlington. Barilli leads the team with 11 runs and 20 hits, while Villanueva leads the team with 18 RBI and her two home runs are good for second on the team. Barilli also has the highest batting average on the squad with .333 percent.
UTA vs. NM State
The matchup versus New Mexico State will contain some familiarity between the two teams due to the fact that they shared the same conference just last year. In the three matchups against the Aggies last year, the Mavericks failed to come away with a victory.
The Northern Colorado Bears are having a tough year to this point with an overall record of 3-17 on the season. They are currently on a four game losing streak with their last win coming against Wagner in a 12-1 victory on Feb. 28, 2014.
Mikayla Duffy and Erica Dick are the key players for Northern Colorado. The duo leads the squad in multiple categories with nearly identical statistics. Both players lead the team with 20 hits and 12 RBI while Duffy has hit four home runs compared to Dick’s three. They also have the same batting average of .339 percent which is good for second on the team.
Northern Colorado vs. NM State
The teams are 15-16 all time with UNC leading the series. The most recent meeting came in the Aggies historic 2011 season when the Aggies beat the Bears three times in the season.
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.
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.
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.