Las Cruces, NM — New Mexico State softball team opens the 2014 season by hosting the Hotel Encanto Invitational for the eighth straight season. The Aggies welcome two top 15 teams along with Saint Mary’s College and cross-border rival UTEP.
The Aggies continue at the NM State Softball Complex by hosting the Troy Cox Classic Feb. 14-16 for the 24th straight season. Making their way to Las Cruces for the tournament is Northern Colorado, Texas Tech, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Iowa State and Weber State.
Feb. 14 NM State vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4 p.m.
Feb. 14 NM State vs. Iowa State 6 p.m.
Feb. 15 NM State vs. Northern Colorado 4 p.m.
Feb. 15 NM State vs. Iowa State 6 p.m.
Feb. 16 NM State vs. Texas Tech 1:30 p.m.
The Aggies make their first road trip of the season with the short drive to El Paso, Texas for the UTEP Invitational Feb. 21-23. NM State plays five games on the weekend starting with Incarnate Word at 10 a.m. and Houston Baptist at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21. On Saturday, the Aggies meet HBU at 10 a.m. and end the weekend with two more games versus Incarnate Word at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23.
Fri, Feb 21 Incarnate Word 10:00 a.m.
Fri, Feb 21 Houston Baptist 12:30 p.m.
Sat, Feb 22 Houston Baptist 10:00 a.m.
Sat, Feb 22 Incarnate Word 12:30 p.m.
Sun, Feb 23 Incarnate Word 11:00 a.m.
Live Stats: www.NMStateSports.com  (click on live events link)
About the Aggies
NM State opened the season with a 2-3 record, defeating Saint Mary’s and UTEP on the weekend. Lacey Rother leads the team with a .385 batting average, which helped her to a WAC Hitter of the Week honor. She has two home runs, one of which was a game-winning grand slam, and five RBI. She went 5-for-13 and plated three runs of her own.
Sophomore Makalya McAdams led in the circle with a 2.03 ERA after 10.1 innings. She made two appearances with eight strikeouts and just three earned runs allowed.
With a record of 3-2, Weber State fished its first weekend of the season beating BYU 4-3. The team dropped two in a row, but ended the weekend win a win against Utah Valley scoring 8-0. Infielder Brooke Silva led the team in the opening week with a batting average of .333 with six hits on her 18 at bats. Three Wildcats had home runs on the weekend, but the team is hitting just. 201.
Texas Tech is 3-2 coming into the Troy cox Classic. Lea Hopson leads the Red Raiders with a .429 batting average after starting all five games and going 6-for-14 at the plate. She had two home runs and three RBI with four stolen bases. It was senior Brittany Talley who was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week for a shutout game and just six hits allowed with 11 strikeouts in her 11.1 innings at work.
With a record of 1-3, the Islanders fell to former WAC foe Texas State during opening weekend, with the lone win coming over Stephen F. Austin 5-2. Senior shortstop Valerie Perez leads with a .500 batting average. In the circle, Liz Carter has a 5.36 ERA, allowing 22 hits in her three appearances for a 1-1 record in 15.2 innings.
A 1-4 start to the season brings the Bears to Las Cruces. The lone win for the weekend came against Oakland 11-7 on Saturday, Feb. 8. Leading the team so far is Megan Wilkinson with a .333 batting average after going 4-for-12 with a double and home run. Jayme Reddacliff (6.35 ERA) pitched 5.2 innings for UNC and allowed four earned runs. She made four appearances with no decision.
The Cyclones hold a 4-0 record with their top hitter Aly Cappaert batting at .700 average. Cappaerts earned seven hits on her 10 at bats and pushed across one RBI. Freshman catcher Rachel Hartman is just behind Cappaert with five RBI, four hits and a batting average at .500.
WAC Hitter of the Week
Junior catcher Lacey Rother was named WAC Hitter of the Week for the week of Feb. 3-9. The Long Beach, Calif. native earned a hit in each of the Aggies’ five games last weekend at the Hotel Encanto Invitational. She had two home runs on Sunday, 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.
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.