Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Aggie softball returns to WAC play, hosts Cal Baptist this weekend

From NMSU Athletics

NM State (10-31, 5-13 WAC) vs. California Baptist (26-24, 8-10 WAC)
Friday, April 29, 6 pm MT
Saturday, April 30, 4 pm MT (DH)
NM State Softball Complex | Las Cruces, NM
Watch | live stats

NM State Game Notes | California Baptist Game Notes

first pitch
NM State is primed and ready to take on California Baptist this weekend for the final home series of the season before heading to Huntsville, Texas, for the WAC Tournament. The series is set to begin Friday (4/29) at 6 pm with one single game and will carry into Saturday (4/30) with a double header scheduled to begin at 4 pm

The Aggies are coming off back-to-back losses to #25 Arizona on Wednesday which saw the Wildcats combine for 26 runs over the two victories. The Aggies were able to put up nine runs in game one but still came up short losing by a score of 14-9. Game two was all Wildcats as the offense put up 11 runs and the pitching held the Aggies to only 1 hit and no runs.

Now the Aggies will be home again to take on California Baptist for the second time this season. The first meeting at Riverside, Calf. saw the Lancers take all three games, by holding the Aggies to just 2 runs in the final two games of that series. Now the Aggies will look to bounce back from a tough loss this week with a series win over a conference opponent as they hit the last leg of their season.

where to watch
The three-game set between the Aggies and the Lancers can be streamed live on WAC Digital Network, fans can also keep up with live stats of all three matches with links available on our website.

Legend in the Dugout
Kathy Rodolph has had a remarkable career as the head coach of the Aggies. In her 19th year at the helm, Rodolph is the winningest coach in NM State history with a 554-467 record. She’s led the team to four WAC Tournament Championships and six WAC Regular Season Championships, including last season when the team went 14-4 in conference play. She is also a five-time WAC Coach of the Year. She has helped the Aggies capture the last eight WAC player of the year awards and back-to-back WAC Freshman of the year awards. Additionally, Rodolph has helped 17 players earn NFCA All-Regional Team honors.

Aggie Rundown
Prior to WAC play, the Aggies’ struggles were somewhat reflective of the level of competition they faced as their schedule featured six games versus Power Five opponents, two teams ranked inside the top-25 and three squads that participated in the NCAA Softball Tournament one season ago.

Wednesday’s game against #25 Arizona marked the third time this season the Aggies faced off against a program ranked in the RPI top-25 rankings (#5 Washington/#23 Arizona State). Game one was a lot closer than some might have anticipated. The Aggies were able to score nine runs on 14 hits in the loss to the Wildcats in that first game. Ramsay Lopez and Kayla Bowen once again led the way combining for six hits, six RBIs and three home runs. For Lopez, this marks the third multi-home-run performance this season for the Albuquerque native. The Sophomore is now slashing .351/.793/.500 with 15 home runs and 36 RBI.

Statistically speaking
Jillian Taylor has become one of the WAC’s top hitters as her batting average of .393 ranks fifth in the league. Taylor’s hit streak finally came to a close on April 8, after 19 games – tying her for the longest hit Aggie hit streak since 2007 when Amber Olive also went 19 games with a knock.

As of late, Hannah Lindsay has put together an impressive streak of her own as she is currently riding a 12-game hit streak with the first hit of her run coming on April 1 against Utah Valley.

On the offensive side, Ramsay Lopez’s performance at the plate has her among the league’s best – ranking second in slugging percentage (.752) and first in home runs per game (0.33). She also places third in walks drawn (29), tied for first in home runs (13), and fourth in on-base percentage (.493).

As a team, the Aggies lead the WAC in home runs (50) and slugging percentage (.516), while their 194 RBIs are fifth-most in the league. The Aggies also rank fourth in runs scored (199), second in slugging (.506) and fifth in total hits (323). Meanwhile, the Crimson and White offense sits in fourth in batting average (.311) and on-base percentage (.382)

Through 15 games in conference play, the Aggies rank first in home runs (26) and fourth in slugging percentage against league opponents (.515).

Taylor on a Tear
Although her historic streak is over, sophomore utility player Jillian Taylor put together one of the hottest stretches NM State fans have seen in years.

She managed a 19-game hit streak that began on March 8, in a home game against I-10 rival UTEP. During her streak, she had six multi-hit games, five doubles and a trio of home runs.

In the 20 games this season in which Taylor has registered two at-bats or more, Taylor has only failed to tally a hit in two games.

After being in and out of the lineup for the first six games, Taylor has been a staple in the starting lineup since March 5. In 30 games this season, the Spokane, Wash. native has posted a batting average of .416 – a team-best among hitters with at least 30 at-bats.

Scouting Arizona
The Lancers enter the series with an overall record of 26-24, sporting a record of 8-10 in WAC play.

Since the start of conference play, the Lancers are ninth WAC in team batting average (.262), tenth in runs scored (65), runs batted in (55) and seventh in stolen bases (9). California Baptist also ranks last in home runs (1), ninth in hits (121), fourth in team ERA (3.07), and eighth in batters struck out (73).

California Baptist catcher Katelyn Mangrello leads the team with a .370 batting average, ranking first in the team with 18 hits. She also has the only home run for the Lancers in conference play.

History vs. Arizona
In the series’ first 10 games, the Aggies have won four of the games. Averaging 3.5 runs per game when they face off. The Aggies are 4-6 against CBU on the road while never having played host to CBU. Friday night will be the first time the Aggies host the Lancer, hoping to erase a three-game losing streak.

The Aggies and Lancers met about a month ago in Riverside, Calif., where the Lancers won all three games of the series. NM State was last victorious against CBU in the 2021 campaign.

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