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NMSU softball to host I-25 rival

KDBC
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 6:29pm

NM State will square off against I-25 rival, New Mexico on March 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the NM State Softball Complex. The Lobos have an overall record of 8-18 on the season while the Aggies are 17-14. In three meetings last year, the Aggies came away victorious twice, holding the Lobos to zero runs in the two wins combined.

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

Next Week
The Aggies finish up with the non-conference schedule and settle into WAC play in the same week. NM State welcomes cross-border rival UTEP for the final of a three-game series on Tuesday, March 25 at 6 p.m. at the NM State Softball Complex. The Aggies then open conference play against Seattle U on Friday, March 28 with a single game at 6 p.m. The league series concludes with a doubleheader on Saturday with the first pitch set for 4 p.m.

About the Aggies
NM State is 17-14 on the season and trying to break a three-game slump while getting back to the NM State Softball Complex for the first time in 21 games. Junior Staci Rodriguez leads the team with a .423 batting average and 30 RBI. While smashing nine home runs, including two grand slams, it is sophomore Fiana Fianu that leads the Aggies with 10 homers this year. The first-year Aggie player had settled into the designated player position with a .341 batting average and 25 RBI of her own.

In the circle, the NM State pitching staff holds a 4.23 ERA, while sophomore Makayla McAdams leads things with a 3.87 ERA. She has pitched 59.2 innings with one shutout, good for a 6-2 record. Hurling the most complete game for NM State is redshirt sophomore Karysta Donisthorpe, who has tossed 65.2 innings and worked five complete games for the Aggies. The right-hand pitcher holds a 4.26 ERA and leads the staff with 58 strikeouts.

Aggies in the WAC
Leading all WAC team with a 17-14 overall record, the Aggies are backing up there league leading offense with some impressive work in the circle.

With a team batting average of .294, the Aggies sit atop the WAC in almost all offensive categories, scoring 153 runs with 233 hits and 34 home runs. Leading the league with 34 homers, NM State is averaging 1.10 home runs a game, with the next closest opponent (Seattle U) only averaging 0.67 homers a game.

With 4.29 RBIs a game, the Aggies offense has been explosive this year lead by the bats of Staci Rodriguez and Fiana Finau. With Finau averaging a WAC best .33 home runs a game and Rodriguez right on her heels averaging .31 home runs a game, the two also lead the WAC in RBIs, with Rodriguez hitting 30 and Finau hitting 25 this season.

NM State’s defense has come up big this season, with sophomore Makayla McAdams holding the opponents to just a .260 batting average, which is third in the conference. The team has fielded 14 double plays this year and the pitching staff has struck out 121 batters, which leads the league.

Looking Back
With a 17-14 record this season, the Aggies wrapped a 21-game road stretch with a 2-3 record at the Fresno State Classic last weekend. The team opened the weekend with wins over Saint Mary’s and Pacific on Friday before falling in the final three games of the weekend. Sophomore Brennalyn Nakamura led the team with eight hits and four runs of her own to hit .444 on the weekend. She also had two RBI. Redshirt sophomore Karysta Donisthorpe led the team in the circle with a 1.68 ERA while going 1-2. She pitched 16 strikeouts in her 16.2 innings over the weekend and allowed just four runs.

About the Lobos
New Mexico is 8-18 this season and 0-4 on the road. The Lobos are led at the plate by Shelby Franc with a .345 batting average, but Chelsea Anaya leads the team with 27 hits and 15 runs. The team is hitting .279 this season, while allowing opponents to hit .358.

Defensively, the Lobos have a 6.79 ERA between the four pitchers as Lauren Soles leads things with a 4.08 ERA. Although she has the lowest earned run average on the team, Carrie Sheehan has pitched a majority of the innings (65.0) and has a 3-7 record this year while throwing 36 strikeouts.

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