The New Mexico State softball team opens the 2019 season by hosting the NM State Invitational from Feb. 8-10. The Aggies are set to take on Creighton, New Mexico, and UTEP during the three-day tournament.
Full session passes are $20. Day passes are $12 and single game prices are $7. Kids 12 and under get in free as well as NM State students with their student ID.
The complete schedule is listed below:
Friday, February 8
11 a.m. Creighton vs. UTEP
1:30 p.m. New Mexico vs. UTEP
4 p.m. NM State vs. Creighton
Saturday, February 9
10 a.m. Creighton vs. New Mexico
12:30 p.m. Creighton vs. UTEP
3 p.m. NM State vs. New Mexico
5:30 p.m. NM State vs. UTEP
Sunday, February 10
10a.m NM State vs. Creighton
To stay connected with the softball team and catch all of the up-to-date information and breaking news, follow the Aggies on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, @NMStateSoftball.
New Mexico State was voted by the league’s head coaches as the favorites to win the Western Athletic Conference. Kelsey Horton was selected as the WAC Preseason Player of the Year while Kayla Green was named the Preseason Pitcher of the Year. Additionally, teammates Nikki Butler and Victoria Castro were named to the Preseason All-WAC Team.
LOOKING BACK AT 2018
The Aggies won their fourth-straight WAC regular-season title in 2018 while also taking home the program’s third tournament title in the past four years. The team went 29-24 overall and 11-4 in WAC play during the banner season. Overall, the team came away with four wins against Power-5 opponents including victories against Big 12 foe Texas Tech on the road, eventual Big Ten tournament champion Minnesota, and a pair versus then-ranked No. 17 Kentucky to open the season at the NM State Softball Complex.
KNOW YOUR FOE: CREIGHTON
Creighton was voted by the Big East head coaches as the favorites to win the conference prior to the season. The Bluejays posted a 28-15 record last season and finished as the runner-up at the Big East Tournament.
Individually, Creighton returns standouts Ashley Cantu and Kiele Miller. Cantu batted .401 during her sophomore campaign including nine doubles and one home run. Miller posted a 3.20 earned-run average during her team-high 30 appearances during 2018. She recorded 147 strikeouts in 135.2 innings pitched.
LOOKING AT THE LOBOS
New Mexico comes into the 2019 season picked to finish ninth in the Mountain West Preseason Coaches’ poll. The Lobos went 14-39 last season but posted a 1-1 record against NM State. As a team, UNM batted .244 and posted a 6.42 ERA.
Andrea Howard returns for her sophomore campaign after finishing second on the squad in batting average (.313) and third for slugging percentage (.534) and on-base percentage (.414). In the circle, Kiana Spencer looks to make an impact for UNM. The sophomore transferred from Yavapai College, where she went 20-1 with a 1.55 ERA and 86 strikeouts.
SCOUTING THE MINERS
UTEP enters the tournament following a 21-33 record in 2018. The Miners were voted to finish in 10th in the Conference USA Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Last season UTEP posted a .286 batting average and a 5.51 ERA as a team.
Offensively, Pamala Baber comes in as one of the top returning players for the Miners. The junior batted .326 with a .477 slugging percentage and a .442 on-base percentage. In the circle, Julia Wright returns after posting a team-best 4.69 ERA during her junior campaign. She went 7-17 with seven complete games and 97 strikeouts.
COMING UP: TROY COX CLASSIC
Following the series, the Aggies host the annual Troy Cox Classic from Feb. 15-17. The tournament features host NM State along with Texas State, Bradley, Montana and San Jose State. New Mexico State’s first clash is set to take place against the Bobcats of TXST on Friday, Feb. 15, at 4 p.m.