Courtesy of NMSU
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – With Florida’s second-straight national championship, the college softball season has come to an end, which also means the final rankings are out, rankings in which the New Mexico State softball team figures prominently in.
The Aggies completed the greatest statistical season in program history. NM State broke softball school records in wins (47), winning percentage (.746), runs (465), hits (589), home runs (103), doubles (100), RBIs (436), total bases (1,020), walks (283), team batting average (.348), slugging percentage (.602) and on-base percentage (.445).
The 103 home runs place the Aggies fifth in the final total home runs rankings as NM State is one of only seven teams in the country to hit over 100 home runs this past season. The only four teams that hit more long balls than the Aggies all made the Super Regionals, led by national runner-up Michigan which slammed 118 homers on the year.
Other top 10 national rankings for NM State include finishing seventh in slugging percentage and eighth in scoring (7.38 runs/game), home runs per game (1.63), batting average and on-base percentage. The Aggies also finished 23rd in doubles per game (1.59) and defensively finished ninth in double plays per game (0.52).
Individually, junior Fiana Finau, who tied the NM State single-season home run record with 24 and broke the single-season RBI record with 74, finished tied for fifth nationally in home runs and tied for eighth in RBIs. Senior Staci Rodriguez, meanwhile, broke both the Aggie single-season and career runs scored records en route to finishing 13th in the country in runs scored per game (1.16) while also finishing tied for 12th with six sacrifice flies.
In the final USA Today/NFCA national rankings, Minnesota, which ended NM State’s season with two wins over the Aggies at the Tucson Regional, finished at No. 15. Arizona and Arizona State, which the Aggies also played, finished at No. 13 and 20 respectively. In all, NM State went 1-7 this year versus the three teams that finished in the Top 25, losing three times to the Golden Gophers, twice to the Wildcats and going 1-2 against the Sun Devils after picking a victory during a doubleheader in Las Cruces.
The Aggies won the Western Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles for only the second time in 10 years in the conference to advance to the NCAA Regional round for the second time in program history.
The Florida Gators, meanwhile, became only the third program in NCAA softball history to win at least one back-to-back championship, joining Arizona and UCLA.