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Aggie softball team seeks series sweep of UNM in Tuesday tilt

NM State will look to improve to 3-0 against the Lobos on Tuesday afternoon.

Posted

NM State (6-17, 1-2 WAC) vs. New Mexico (19-9, 1-2 WAC)
Tuesday, March 22, 4 p.m. | NM State Softball Complex | Las Cruces, N.M.
Watch | Live Stats | NM State Game Notes


First Pitch
NM State returns to the field for its third matchup with New Mexico with the first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22. The mid-week meeting will provide an opportunity for the Aggies to complete the series sweep of the Lobos as NM State earned a pair of victories in a double header on March 8. The Aggies are coming off their first WAC series of the season as they collected a 8-7 win in eight innings over Grand Canyon on Friday, however, fell in a pair of games on Saturday to drop the series.
 
Where to Watch
Tuesday's game will be available to watch on WACsports.com/watch while live stats can be followed along here.
 
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 550-458 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
The Aggies' early struggles have been somewhat reflective of the level of competition they have faced as their schedule has 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.
 
The last time the Aggies shared the field with UNM, NM State earned a two-game sweep of its rival in a doubleheader. Against the Lobos, NM State used big boosts from Savannah Bejarano and Kayla Bowen to collect a pair of wins. Bejarano finished the series 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and three RBIs while Bowen finished the day with four RBIs. In the circle, the Aggies were led by Jordin King who threw 4.2 innings while allowing just four hits and two earned runs.
 
In their conference opener, the Aggies were led by a surprise performance from senior catcher Melika Ofoia who finished the evening 3-for-4 at the plate as she recorded a pair of singles while notching her first career home run to help the Aggies to a win on Friday. For the weekend, Ofoia finished 3-5 to pace the Aggies in batting average. Ramsay Lopez continued her strong start to the season as she belted her eighth home run of the season while recording four hits in eight at-bats, including the fourth double of the year. Senior Kayla Bowen and sophomore Jillian Taylor paced NM State with three RBIs each across Friday and Saturday.
 
Statistically Speaking
Amidst a 10-game hit streak, Jillian Taylor has quickly become one of the WAC's top hitters as her batting average of .422 ranks second in the league. With her current hot streak, Taylor became the 13th Aggie since 2016 to reach a hit streak of 10 games or more.
 
Meanwhile, Ramsay Lopez's performance at the plate also has her among the league's best - ranking first in both slugging percentage (.860) and on-base percentage (.544). Kayla Bowen's seven doubles also tie her for eighth-most in the league thus far.
 
As a team, the Aggies' 25 home runs are good for third in the WAC while their 110 RBIs are fourth-most in the league. Through 23 games, the Aggies are first in slugging percentage (.499), third in on-base percentage (.386) and fourth in batting average (.309).

Scouting the Lobos
Led by head coach Paula Congleton who is in her fifth season at the helm, the Lobos will enter  Tuesday with an overall record of 19-9, including a highlight win in their first game of the season when they defeated Oregon State, 3-2.
 
At the plate, New Mexico is led by senior Andrea Howard who paces the Lobo in batting average (.400), slugging percentage (.856) and on-base percentage (.481). Howard also ranks first on the Lobo squad in hits with 36, including a team-best 10 home runs, 35 RBIs and three triples. As a team, the Lobos are batting .282 on the year while slugging .423 and reaching base at a .359 rate.
 
In the circle, UNM is led by Emma Guindon who carries a record of 9-4 while posting a 2.06 ERA and tallying 68 strikeouts on the season. Amber Linton has also been dominant for the Lobos - posting an 8-3 record with a 2.65 ERA and 87 total strikeouts.
 
In the season's first meeting between the two schools early this year, Ashley Archuleta led the way for the Lobos as she went 4-7 at the plate with a pair of doubles, one triple and one RBI. Howard also did damage as she drove in four runs across two games thanks to a pair of home runs.
 
History vs. New Mexico
With the two wins from a couple of weeks ago, the Aggies maintain the all-time head-to-head advantage with a record of 27-13 versus the Lobos and are currently riding a seven-game win streak in the Battle of I-25.