Courtesy of NMSU
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – New Mexico State softball head coach Kathy Rodolph and senior Staci Rodriguez have once again been recognized as the Western Athletic Conference’s best, this time by College Sports Madness which named Rodolph its WAC Coach of the Year and Rodriguez its WAC Field Player of the Year.
Rodolph and Rodriguez are already the WAC Coach and Player of the Year, respectively, as selected by the conference’s coaches.
CSM also named its All-WAC first and second teams. Joining Rodriguez on the first team are redshirt junior pitcher Karysta Donisthorpe, junior Fiana Finau and senior first baseman Kelsey Dodd. The Aggies also placed four the second team including freshman pitcher Dallas McBride, junior third baseman Emma Adams, sophomore shortstop Haley Nakamura and senior left fielder Malena Padilla.
Rodolph has led her team to the greatest season in program history. She will lead the Aggies to their second trip to the NCAA Championship after also leading them to the WAC regular-season and tournament championships.
Rodolph led the 2011 NM State squad to the program’s first-ever appearance at the NCAA Regionals, which was held in Tucson, Ariz., the same place this year’s team is headed. That 2011 team finished with an Aggie record 44 wins (44-17) while going 17-4 in WAC play and held almost every NM State record, until this season.
This year, under Rodolph, the Aggies have a record 46 wins (46-14) and have eclipsed the season records for runs, doubles, home runs and RBIs, and are three hits away from the hits in a season record. NM State’s current batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage are all ahead of the current season highs for each category, all accomplished in 2011.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, picked up her second WAC Player of the Year as named by the conference. She is tied for the team lead with a .408 batting average and leads the squad with a new single-season Aggie record 70 runs scored and also leads with 16 doubles and 47 walks on the season.
Rodriguez has slammed 15 home runs this season, putting her at 55 for her career, second on the all-time home runs list for NM State. She not only broke the single-season runs scored record but now also is the Aggie career runs scored record holder. Rodriguez has crossed the plate a total of 191 times while wearing a NM State uniform.
The Aggies begin play at the Tucson Regional on Friday with a matchup versus Minnesota, which NM State has already played in Arizona this season, losing 6-1 in Tempe during the Diamond Devil Invitational hosted by Arizona State.