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NM STATE SOFTBALL

Aggies' road trip to Utah Valley set to conclude regular season

NM State will battle with the Wolverines in the final three-game series of the season

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NM State (10-34, 5-16 WAC) at Utah Valley (20-24, 10-11 WAC)Friday, May 6, noon MTSaturday, May 7, noon MT (DH)Wolverine Softball Field | Orem, UtahWatch | Live StatsNM State Game Notes

First PitchNM State is set to take on Utah Valley in its final series of the regular season before heading to Huntsville, Texas, for the 2022 WAC Tournament. The series is set to begin Friday, May 6, at noon, carrying into a Saturday doubleheader scheduled to also begin at noon. The Aggies are coming off a series sweep at the hands of California Baptist last weekend. The Aggies celebrated seniors Kayla Bowen and Melika Ofoia on Friday night ahead of a 9-6 loss. In game one of the doubleheader, the Aggies' comeback bid fell short, dropping a 10-9 affair before losing 5-0 in the series finale with NM State only collecting three hits in the game. In April, the Aggies welcomed the Wolverines into the NM State Softball Complex, taking two of the three games in the weekend series thanks to an offensive explosion. The Aggies scored 32 runs over the three games, led by a combined 12 home runs by six different players. Where to WatchThe three-game set between the Aggies and the Wolverines 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 DugoutKathy 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 554-476 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 RundownPrior 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. This weekend, the Aggies will look to avoid tying their lowest win total in conference play since joining the WAC in 2006. In 2012, NM State finished with a 5-16 record in league play. However, until this season, the Aggies had recorded eight-straight seasons of 10 wins or more in conference play. NM State will also be looking to build some momentum entering next week's WAC Tournament. As it stands right now, the Aggies would find themselves as the No. 6 seed in the eight-team bracket. Rodolph's squad currently sits in a three-way tie with Lamar and Sam Houston who each also enter the weekend with a .238 WAC win percentage. However, NM State holds the tiebreaker based on National RPI. Based on this weekend's results, the Aggies could finish as high as the No. 6 seed and as low as the No. 8 seed. The conference office will release the official bracket for the 2022 WAC Softball Tournament following the conclusion of all regular season games this Saturday. Statistically SpeakingJillian Taylor has grown into one of the WAC's top hitters, her batting average of .380 ranking seventh 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. Ramsay Lopez's performance at the plate also places her among the league's best – leading the WAC in home runs (15) and home runs per game (0.34), while ranking second in slugging percentage (.721),  third in walks drawn (29),  and seventh in total bases (88). As a team, the Aggies pace the WAC in home runs (55), hold second in slugging percentage (.497), and rank fourth in on base percentage (.375), RBIs (215) and batting average (.309).Throughout conference play, the Crimson and White offense leads the WAC in home runs (28), sits third in slugging percentage (.311) and fifth in RBIs (102). NM State's offense is also among the nation's best as they rank inside the top 50 in batting average (31st, .309), slugging percentage (34th, .504) and home runs per game (35th, 1.20).That charge is led by Ramsay Lopez who's home run total of 15 ranks 33rd in the country while her home runs per game average of 0.37 ranks 20th among all Division I hitters. Lopez's slugging percentage and on-base percentage also rank inside the top 50 nationally. Taylor's Midseason TearAlthough 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 Utah ValleyThe Wolverines enter the series with an overall record of 20-23, sporting a 10-11 record in WAC play. Since the start of conference play, the Wolverines are second in the WAC in batting average (.330), runs scored (136), and RBIs (120), while also ranking sixth in home runs (17), third in strikeouts against (98), and fourth in slugging percentage (.494). Utah Valley also ranks tenth in earned run average (6.95), opposing batting average (.364), and hits allowed (218). Outfielders Madison Carr (.466) and Linnah Rebolledo (.456) hold the top two spots in batting average, with Carr also leading in hits (34), while Rebolledo leads the WAC in runs scored (27) and doubles (11). History vs. Utah ValleySince Utah Valley joined the Western Athletic Conference in 2013, the Aggies sport a 14-7 record against the Wolverines, including a 6-2 record over the past two seasons. The Wolverines and Aggies last met for a three-game series on April 1 and April 2, the Crimson & White claiming wins in two out of the three games. NM State last traveled to Orem in the 2018 season, dropping two out of three contests.

NM State Softball