NMSU set for WAC Tournament, Felder receives national honor

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The New Mexico State softball team heads to Phoenix for the 2019 Western Athletic Conference Softball Tournament from May 8-11. As the No. 2 seed, the Aggies earn a first-round bye and are set to face the highest seed available on Thursday, May 9, at 2:30 p.m. MT. Fans can catch every game from this year’s tournament live on ESPN+. International viewers can watch on the WAC Digital Network.

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HORTON HITS A BOOM
Nationally, Kelsey Horton ranks first in career home runs (67), third in career total bases (501), fifth in RBI (203) and seventh for runs scored (202).

The senior continues to climb in the NM State career record books. The slugger is record holder for total bases, runs scored, doubles (46), sacrifice flies (12) and home runs. Horton also ranks second in hits (250) and RBI.

WEEKLY WARRIOR
Mya Felder was named the WAC Hitter of the Week, the league announced on Monday. This was the second-straight honor for the freshman and the third of her career as an Aggie.

Felder hit .706 with a 1.235 slugging percentage and a .700 on-base percentage when NM State went 4-1 last week, including a win over No. 17 Texas Tech in the team’s final home game of the season. The freshman posted multiple hits in four of the last five games and recorded a hit every contest last week. Felder was 12-of-17 with three doubles, two home runs and 11 RBIs. In the win over the ranked Red Raiders, she went 3-for-4 with a solo homer. During the series opener at CSU Bakersfield, Felder recorded six of her 11 RBIs for the week when she went 4-for-4 with two doubles and a home run.

WHERE IN THE WAC
Overall, New Mexico State leads the league in slugging percentage (.497), home runs (62), total bases (653), walks (156), batters struck out (315), batters struck out looking (78) and saves (8). For WAC games, the Aggies are also first in batting average (.321), slugging percentage (.510) and on-base percentage (.396). The team sits atop the rankings for hits (159), doubles (29), homers (21), total bases (253) walks (51), batters struck out (131), batters struck out looking (31) and saves (4).

Individually, Felder leads the conference for slugging percentage (.747) and total bases (109) Horton ranks first in homers (13) while Nikki Butler is first for hit by pitch (14). Diaz come in as the leader for batters struck out (215), saves (7) and appearances (39).  For league games alone, Horton comes in first for walks (12) and Victoria Castro’s three sacrifice flies paces the WAC. Diaz also leads the conference with 100 batters struck out and 24 batters struck out looking.

LAST TIME OUT
NM State swept CSU Bakersfield during its final conference series this season. The Aggies downed the Roadrunners 9-0 in six innings during the opener. New Mexico State followed the performance with a 7-4 win before an 11-3 victory in just five innings during the series finale.

Felder went 4-for-4 during the series opener with six RBI. Diaz pitched a complete game, allowing two hits while striking out six. During the final game of the regular season, Victoria Castro and Kennedy Johnson each had a home run with Castro hitting a grand slam.

LOOKING AT THE LEAGUE
Seattle U comes in as the top seed after winning it’s first-ever WAC regular-season title with a 15-3 mark. The Redhawks are led by Kaylee Ree, who hit .450 with four doubles, a triple and two homers in WAC games. In the circle, Andie Larkins led Seattle U with a 5-0 record and a save during WAC play.

Host Grand Canyon is the third seed, finishing with a 12-6 record in conference play. The Lopes are led by Shea Smith, who hit .431 against league opponents. Pitcher Brianna Aguilar went 4-2 with a save and a 0.70 ERA in WAC games.

Utah Valley earned the No. 4 seed with a 7-11 conference record. The Wolverines are led by Brianna Moeller and Abby Doughty, who hit .397 and .352, respectively, during WAC play.

Kansas City enters the tournament as the fifth seed with a 6-12 WAC mark. Offensively, the Roos are led by Chyanne Onstad, who hit .333 during conference play.

CSU Bakersfield rounds out the opposition as the sixth seed with a 3-15 record. The ‘Runners are led by Nadia Amezcua, who hit .245 in WAC games.

COMING UP: TOURNEY TIME
The victor of Thursday’s game advances to the winners bracket and plays on Friday at 2:30 p.m. The loser heads to an elimination game on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. The 2019 WAC Tournament champion is set to be crowned on Saturday, with the championship game taking place at 2:30 p.m.

Felder Collects Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week Honors

New Mexico State softball’s Mya Felder received honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s (NFCA) on Tuesday. The freshman was named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Player of the Week, her first award from the organization this season.

Felder hit .706 with a 1.235 slugging percentage and a .700 on-base percentage when NM State went 4-1 last week, including a win over then-ranked No. 17 Texas Tech in the team’s final home game of the season. The freshman recorded multiple hits in four of the last five games and tallied a hit every contest. Felder was 12-of-17 with three doubles, two home runs and 11 RBIs. In the win over the ranked Red Raiders, she went 3-for-4 with a solo homer. During the series opener at CSU Bakersfield, Felder recorded six of her 11 RBIs for the week when she went 4-for-4 with two doubles and a home run.

This is the first NFCA weekly honor for the Aggies this season, The last player from the Western Athletic Conference to receive the accolade from the origination was New Mexico State’s Fiana Finau in 2016. Felder was also named the WAC Hitter of the Week on Monday.

The Aggies head to the Phoenix for the 2019 WAC Softball Tournament, hosted by Grand Canyon. As the two-seed, NM State receives a first-round bye and faces the highest seed available on May 9 at 2:30 p.m. MT.

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