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Aggies head to WAC softball tournament

Aggies head to WAC softball tournament
KTSM
New Mexico State
Monday, May 5, 2014 - 12:40pm

The New Mexico State softball team will travel to Seattle, Wash., May 8-10, for the 2014 WAC Softball Tournament, hosted by Seattle U.

The Aggies enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed after going 29-21 on the season and 10-4 in the WAC. NM State finished second in the WAC standings behind Grand Canyon, who is not eligible to compete in this year’s tournament.

NM State will face the winner of the No.4 Utah Valley/No. 5 Bakersfield match-up on Thursday, May 8 at 5 p.m. (MT) The game can be held live on KGRT 570 AM, as Jay Sanderson brings fans all the action from the campus of Seattle University at Logan Field.

The Western Athletic Conference, in conjunction with its website partner NeuLion, has announced it will stream the 2014 WAC Softball Tournament live. Viewers can sign up by visiting www.WACSports.tv. Every game of the tournament can be viewed for a single subscription price of $9.95.

Live stats will also be available at WACSports.com and NMStateSports.com.

A look at the Aggies
The New Mexico State softball team finished the 2014 season with 29-21 overall record and 10-4 Western Athletic Conference record. Lead by 11th year head coach Kathy Rodolph, the Aggies won their final game of the season against in-state rival University of New Mexico with a 14-2 final score.

During the 2014 season, NM State saw Rodolph to her 300th win with the Aggies and her 500th career win. NM State saw their largest winning margin against CSU Bakersfield on April 12, scoring 17 runs in the first inning with 15 RBI. The team forced an opponent run-rule four consecutive times during the 2014 season against UTEP (5), Seattle U (6), Kansas City (5) and Bakersfield (5).

At the plate, the Aggies have a .318 batting average and 57 homeruns on the season. With a .511 slugging percentage, NM State totals 263 RBI, reaching base a total of 662 times. In the circle, the Aggies average a 3.99 ERA with four saves and 183 total strikeouts. The Aggies hold their opponents to a .288 batting average.

NM State is led by junior outfielder, Staci Rodriguez, with her .404 batting average, .780 slugging percentage and .537 on base percentage. Rodriguez is also tied for second in homeruns with sophomore infielder Fiana Finau each contributing 13 to the season. Finau leads the Aggies totaling 44 RBI on the season and 57 hits.

Pitcher Celisha Walker leads the team with a 3.33 ERA and has an 8-6 season record. On the season, Walker has been recognized with three saves in 101.0 innings pitched. She has 60 strikeouts and sees her opponents to a .312 batting average. Makayla McAdams just trails Walker totaling a 3.81 ERA and ending the season at an 11-5 record. McAdams pitched 99.1 innings and added 37 strikeouts on the season, holding her opponents to a .257 batting average.

Scouting Bakersfield
Bakersfield currently sits a 15-38-1 record going 4-11 in the WAC. The team totals a .249 batting average with 348 hits on the 2014 season.

The Runners are led by Karissa Viega with her .315 batting average. She has contributed 32 runs and has 16 RBI. With a slugging at a .418, Viega has 58 total hits on the season. In the circle, Kelsie Monroe leads the team averaging 3.21 earned runs. She has a 9-19 record and has made 38 appearances for Bakersfield. Out of 183.1 innings pitched, Monroe has struck out 114 batters and holds her opponents to a .276 batting average.

NM State Series against Bakersfield
NM State has faced off against Bakersfield five total times since 2008 where they went 2-1 in the first three game series against the Roadrunners. The last time the teams played against each other was during the 2010 season as the Aggies went 1-1 on April 26.

After a four-year break, NM State met Bakersfield during the current 2014 season on April 11-12 ending 3-0 in the three game series. The series ended in a forced run rule after the Aggies scored 17 runs in the first inning to break school and WAC records.

Scouting Utah Valley
Going 14-38 overall and 5-9 in WAC play, Utah Valley is a power hitting team that has recorded 42 home runs during the season, compared to their opponents 25. Led from the plate by Brianna Gatlin, she has recorded 38 hits in 134 at bats, scoring 26 RBI and hitting two home runs for a .284 batting average and a .400 slugging percentage.

Leading the team in home runs with 10, Amanda Robinson has recorded 14 multiple base hits in 103 at bats for a slugging percentage of .621.

From the circle Utah Valley is led by Josi Summers. Summers posted a 7-17 record on the season with a team leading ERA of 4.38. In a team high 156.2 innings pitched, Summers has given up 184 hits for 98 earned runs, 94 walks and recorded a team high 106 strikeouts.

NM State Series against Utah Valley
Meeting for the first time in 2005, the Aggies have gone 3-0 against Utah Valley. On Feb. 11, 2005 the Aggies won 4-0. The following year the two teams met again on Feb. 19, with NM State taking that game 9-0 in the largest victory of the series.

The Aggies would meet the Wolverines for the last time on Feb. 23, 2008, where NM State won by a score of 12-8.

NM State in the WAC Tournament
NM State has made seven total appearances in the WAC tournament and was crowned champion during the 2011 season. NM State has an all-time record of 10-11 in the WAC tournament.

The Aggies suffered a loss in their first ever WAC tournament game in Fresno, Calif. on Thursday, May 11, 2006, against the Nevada Wolf Pack. In their debut tournament, the Aggies pulled off a their first tournament victory against San Jose State, on Friday, May 12, but lost two games to Nevada that ultimately ended their run.

The 2011 season was the best for NM State as the Aggies went into Fresno. with the No. 1 seed. NM State was able to shut out Fresno State 5-0 and clinched their first ever WAC championship, along with their first birth to the NCAA Softball Tournament.

Since joining the WAC in 2006, NM State has had 12 players that have been named to the All-Tournament Team, including MVP of the tournament Valerie Swedberg in 2011.

NM State has two players that are tied for a WAC tournament record. Kristi Randall (2007) is tied for the most doubles in a game in WAC tournament history with 2. Kylie Randall (2009) is also tied for most stolen bases in a WAC tournament game with 2.

The Aggies have faced San Jose State University more than any other schools in the WAC tournament and have posted a 2-4 record against the Spartans.
 

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