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LAS CRUCES, N.M.--  The final batch of the 2009 NCAA softball statistics were recently released and the New Mexico State softball team capped off the season ranked No. 1 in the nation in batting average (.341). 

The Aggie bats paced perennial powerhouses such as Arizona (.339), who ranked second in the nation, Florida (.323) who was third, Mississippi Valley (.322) who was fourth and Arizona State (.322) who rounded out the top five.

Head coach Kathy Rodolph and associate head coach Cat Heifner said that they are extremely proud of the team and believe that the accomplishment was a result of hard work.

“I am thrilled that our kids' and coaches' hard work paid off in the 2009 season,” Rodolph said.  “It's a tremendous accomplishment for our program. Anytime a team can be number one in the nation at anything, its time to celebrate.  It’s a significant stepping stone which should show our kids and our community how good we could really be in 2010.”

Batting average is not the only category NM State holds rank.  The Aggies were also ranked seventh in scoring (6.09), seventh in slugging percentage (.543) and 10th in home runs per game (1.26) throughout the country.

NM State also saw a pair of individuals hold top-20 spots in various offensive categories throughout the nation. 

Freshman sensation Tiare Jennings ranked sixth in RBIs (61), 11th in home runs (17), 13th in home runs per game (.131) and 20th in slugging percentage.

Sophomore cleanup hitter Hoku Nohara ended the season ranked 17th in the nation in batting average (.429) and 19th in on-base percentage (.527). 

“Our kids love what they do,” Heifner added.  “They love to hit and they love to be successful. This year they learned that success can be achieved with a good work ethic, a good mentality and a lot of swings.”


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