NMSU softball opens WAC play at home against Seattle

NMSU softball opens WAC play at home against Seattle
New Mexico State
Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 2:10pm

The Aggies continue at home but open Western Athletic Conference play against Seattle U on Friday, March 28 at 6 p.m. The Redhawks and the Aggies then finish the three-game series on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m.

Live Coverage
Live Stats: www.NMStateSports.com (click on Audio/Video link)
Live Video: ESPN3.com (Saturday, game one only)
Twitter: @NMStateAggies

Next Week
The Aggies dig into conference play and head out to meet Kansas City April 4-5. NM State and the Roos meet for a doubleheader on Friday, April 4 beginning at 1 p.m. and close out the three-game series at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Looking Back
NM State shook off the four-game losing streak with a 14-3 win over cross-border rival UTEP on Tuesday, March 25, to improve the season record to 18-15. The run-rule game won the series against the Miners and included the 11th home run of the season for junior and reigning WAC Player of the Year Staci Rodriguez. NM State had 10 hits on the game and saw junior Fiana Finau hit two doubles for three RBI.

About the Aggies
NM State (18-15) opens WAC play after a 14-3 run-rule victory over the I-10 rival UTEP Miners earlier in the week. The Aggies had an eight-game winning streak earlier in the season but are most recently off a four-game losing skid. The team is led at the plate by junior Staci Rodriguez with a .435 batting average and 11 home runs. She is tied in the top 10 for home runs this season with fellow hard hitter Fiana Finau close behind with 10 home runs. The duo combines for 61 RBI this year. Rodriguez is eight in the nation with a .918 slugging percentage and Finau is slugging .713 so far this year. Rodriguez has reached base in her last 30 at-bats and has seen five games with multiple RBI.

In the circle, sophomore Makayla McAdams leads the Aggies with a 3.80 ERA this season. The team is hurling 4.19 combined with redshirt sophomore Karysta Donisthorpe pitching 71.2 of the teams innings. She is leading the Aggies with 62 K’s this season and is holding her opponents to a .276 batting average. Senior Celisha Walker has become the closer for the team, pitching 68.2 innings and striking out 42. She had five strikeouts in the loss to New Mexico on March 19 and has tallied two saves and one shutout this year.

Aggies in the WAC
Leading the conference with the only record above .500 this season, NM State is leading in a large majority of the hitting categories this season including batting average as the Aggies are hitting .300. The team has 405 total bases and is slugging .481 as a whole, which leads the league. The Aggies also have the best team ERA (4.19) but are just behind GCU in fielding percentage (.951) while tying for first with the Lopes with 253 hits on the year.

Individually, the Aggies are seeing Staci Rodriguez lead in a slew of categories, including home runs (11), batting average (.435), on-base percentage (555.) and RBI (33). Sophomore Makayla McAdams is fourth in the WAC with her 3.80 ERA and sophomore Fiana Finau is second on several of the hitting lists that Rodriguez leads.

NM State in the Nation (as of 3/23/14)
Hitting duo Fiana Finau and Staci Rodriguez have made their way onto the nation’s leaderboard in six different categories this season. The pair is in the top 25 for home runs and home runs her game. Rodriguez is in the top 50 for on-base percentage, RBI per game and is 57th with her batting average. She is ranked eighth in the country with a .890 slugging percentage also.

About Seattle U
Starting their first 30 games on the road, the Redhawks have played just one home game, a 7-0 win over Northwest University, before trekking back out on the road to open league play. SU (11-20) was on a nine-game losing streak before its home win on Monday,

The Redhawks were selected to finish second in the WAC preseason poll and is currently sitting third behind GCU. This season, Isabella Geronimo leads the team with a .396 batting average and 38 hits. It’s Bubba Morrow that is best with the big hits, tallying seven home runs and 62 total bases with 28 RBI. Morrow is slugging .596 this season and has helped out with 37 assists from behind the plate.

Seattle U vs. NM State
The Aggies and the Redhawks have met just three times in program history which dates back just to SU’s first season in the WAC in 2013. NM State took each of those three meetings with a run-rule 8-0 win in the first game of the series. The Aggies then came back to sweep the doubleheader, which included a walk-off home run by departed senior Teresa Conrad in the final game of the weekend.

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