Las Cruces, NM — The Western Athletic conference announced that the New Mexico State softball team is the preseason favorite to win the 2014 league title. The preseason All-WAC team was also announced with junior Staci Rodriguez and sophomore Emma Adams named to the preseason team. The preseason poll is a vote of the conference’s six head coaches, who could not vote for their own team. The coaches also select the preseason all-WAC team.
“We are honored that the coaches in the conference have selected us to finish first,” head coach Kathy Rodolph said. “Now, in order to make that dream a reality, we have a lot of work ahead of us and have a lot to prove with this new and very talented conference.”
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.
“Staci and Emma are both significant pieces to our hunt for the WAC title and they are going to be counted upon day in and day out to perform for us,” Rodolph said.
The 2014 season begins Friday, Feb. 7, with the Aggie-hosted Hotel Encanto Invitational. The 2014 WAC Softball Tournament, hosted by Seattle U, will be held May 8-10, at Logan Field in Seattle, and will include all five eligible teams.
2014 WAC Preseason Softball Coaches Poll
Rank Teams (1st-Place Votes) Points
1 New Mexico State (5) 25
2 Seattle U (1) 19
3 Utah Valley 14
4 Bakersfield 13
5 Kansas City 10
6 Grand Canyon 9
2014 Preseason Softball All-WAC Team
Player School Yr. Pos.
Emma Adams New Mexico State So. 3B
Kelly Barak Grand Canyon Jr. SS
Caitlin Christopher Kansas City Jr. C
Shay Fryer Bakersfield Sr. SS
Izzy Geronimo Seattle U So. OF
Katie Kelley Kansas City So. 1B/RHP
Bubba Morrow Seattle U Jr. C
Amanda Robinson Utah Valley Sr. 1B
Staci Rodriguez New Mexico State Jr. OF
Josi Summers Utah Valley Jr. RHP
Karissa Veiga Bakersfield Sr. OF
Claire Zampini Grand Canyon Sr. OF